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24.12.2009 General News

Review of laws on chainsaw advocated

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Review of laws on chainsaw advocated
December 23, 2009
Akyawkrom (Ash), Dec. 23, GNA - Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, a Policy Research Scientist of the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) has called for the review of laws on chainsaw operations if the fight against the menace could be successful.

He said lapses in the existing laws coupled with the lack of political will on the part of successive governments, were drawbacks to efforts to check chainsaw operations which he said had assumed an alarming rate.

Dr. Marfo was speaking at a Multi-Stakeholder Meeting on illegal chainsaw operation at Akyawkrom near Ejisu in the Ejisu Juaben Municipality .

The meeting which was funded by Tropenbos International Ghana in collaboration with the European Union (EU) was to propose policy options for addressing illegal chainsaw operations and also to ensure the supply of legal lumber to the domestic market.

Participants included Traditional Rulers, Lumber Brokers, Chainsaw Operators, District Assemblies, Farmers, Judicial Service, Sawmillers, Ghana Timber Association, Security Services and Ghana Timber Millers Association.

Dr. Marfo aslo blamed the increasing rate of chainsaw operations on corruption in various institutions mandated to check the practice and called for effective public education to sensitise the people on the need to assist in curbing the canker.

Mr. Price Anokye of the Facualty of Planning and Land Economy at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) advocated the introduction of a legal framework to strengthen the enforcement of laws on illegal chainsaw operations.

He said ten years after the ban on chainsaw operations, the practice was on the ascendancy with government losing huge sums of revenue annually, and called for action to save the nation's forest cover from total depletion.

Mr. James Parker Mckeown, Project Co-ordinator of Tropenbos International Ghana, said the three policy options were the supply of legal lumber to the domestic market by sawmills, the supply of legal lumber to the domestic market by sawmillers and other players and the supply of legal lumber to the domestic market by Artisanal Improved Mills, and urged the participants to discuss the options dispasionately to arrive at a suitable decision.


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