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28.09.2005 General News

Forestry Commission urged to collect royalties from timber contractors

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Sunyani (B/A), Sept. 28, GNA - Participants at a workshop have urged the Forestry Commission to collect all outstanding stumpage royalties owed to it by timber contractors and pay what is due to landowners.

In a communiqu=E9 issued after the one day workshop held in Sunyani on Tuesday signed by Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri II, Omanhene of Sunyani Traditional Council and Nana Baah Brentu, Akyeamehene of Awuah Domase traditional area advised the Commission to involve traditional rulers in the setting of prices of timber products to ensure optimum benefit sharing.

The participants included representatives of stool landowners, traditional councils, Sunyani Municipal Assembly, Forestry officials and selected stakeholders in the Brong-Ahafo Region. The workshop, which was organised by the Sunyani Forest Forum, was aimed at advocating transparency in the disbursement and utilization of timber royalties.

The communiqu=E9 appealed to traditional councils and stool landowners to be transparent in the utilization of timber royalties to enhance effective community participation in the management and protection of forest resources.

It stressed the need for the Forestry Commission to come out with a form for reporting on royalties use by district assemblies, stool landowners and traditional councils to ensure transparency and accountability.

The forum further stressed the need for the Commission to expedite action on the signing of Modified Taungya system benefit sharing agreement with taungya farmers for the farmers to be sure that they had shares in the plantations.

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