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Mr Isaac Avor, Secretary Timber Market Association
Mr Isaac Avor, Secretary Timber Market Association

Timber sellers to help replenish Ghana’s depleting forests

The Timber Market Association has expressed its readiness to complement government’s efforts by assisting in replenishing the country’s depleting forests cover.
The Association laments the alarming rate at which Ghana is losing its forest cover, admitting that the impact of the degradation is negatively affecting the businesses of its members.
“We are ready to help in replanting and we will see to the protection of our forests. We know the forest cover is gone so the little that we have, we must protect it. We are ready to work with the Forestry Commission to replant the forests. Our Boys are here and we are ready to do it,” stated Mr Isaac Avor, Secretary to the Association.
Mr Avor continued, “We are helping the domestic market to meet their timber needs, so we ensure that we procure our timber product from legal sources. As you can see, we are selling our product in the open it is not illegal.”
He admitted that though there are some unscrupulous sellers who refuse to adhere to the lay down procedures of timber procurement, majority of them buy their timber from approved sources.
Speaking during a media tour on timber procurement policy, Mr Avor said the wood sellers were looking forward to engaging with the forestry Commission to discuss some issues that are gravely affecting their businesses.
In particular, Mr Avor mentioned that the Association is not happy about the consistent harassment of its members by the Police and some officials of the Forestry commission especially when they are transporting the timber products to the market.  “Even if your documents are accurate, they will still take money from you.” he alleged.
Asked why they pay the monies to these officials, Mr Avor answered that it is because they want to continue to stay in business so they can cater for their families.
In a separate interaction, the Chairman of the Sokobon Wood Village in Kumasi, Mr Charles Krah Boadu also expressed his willingness to plant more trees for the purposes of replenishing the forests for future generation.
Mr Boadu, submitted that his  outfit has  several hectares  of  land given to it by the government  to plant some  trees  and  over the last two  years,  the Association had done some planting but more needed to be done.  He said, “over the last two years, we have planted about 20, 000 trees on our land at Kumawu and we are willing to do more when we get the support from government.”
Mr Boadu indicated that the demand for timber usage is high and he thinks that exportation of timber products should stop so that the available wood could be used to feed the domestic market.
He questioned that if the country is complaining of non-availability of timber to supply to the domestic market, then why should the products be exported.
The tour was part of a project being implemented by the Nature and Development Foundation (NDF) with support from FAO, UKAID and EU.  The Project is meant to ensure that the country’s forests are used in a sustainable manner and to rally Ghanaians to procure their timber and timber products from legal sources.

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