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17.07.2005 Regional News

Legalise chainsaw operation - Government urged


Mankessim (CR), July 17, GNA - A group of Chainsaw operators in the Central Region, have appealed to the government to legalise their operation in the country.

The operators at a meeting at Mankessim said the continuous ban on chainsaw operation was doing more harm than good to the government and the operators.

Their spokesman who pleaded anonymity said it was an accepted fact that chainsaw operators were sustaining the nation's wood requirements. "How many lumber boards are on the market," he asked.

"We provide wood for buildings, furniture and other purposes and yet we have been denied recognition," the spokesman stated. He said the ban was "only making money for some law-enforcing agents and officials of the Forestry Commission".

The spokesman stated that if the government could legalise small-scale mining (Galamsey) and allow the operators to acquire concessions then chainsaw operation should also be given similar status to contribute towards economic development in the form of taxes. He said they were ready when legalised to support the country's forestation programme and to help in uprooting unethical practises in the wood business.

The spokesman said Chainsaw Operations was more sustainable than logging since Timber Contractors wasted more wood and destroyed the vegetation and rare species including medicinal plants. Chainsaw operators rather "save destruction of the vegetation by limiting our activities to only where the tree is felled," he said.