Workshop for Timber Operators End in Kumasi

March 9, 2018, by , Posted in Blog,Uncategorized, 0 Comment

Published on 28th of November, 2017

From Kinsley E. Hope, Kumasi

A workshop for timber operators for effective compliance of Forest Law Enforcement, Governance/Voluntary Partnership Agreement and Trade (FLEGT/ VPA), on the theme “Empowering Small Medium Forest Enterprises” (SMFEs) ended on Friday in Kumasi.

The 15months project which took off in September 2016 to December 2017 was aimed at building the confidence of timber companies to apply Ghana’s Legality Assurance System (GhLAS) along the timber value chain for products to meet international standards.

According to Project Coordinator, Mr. Gustav Adu, Ghana would soon begin issuing FLEGT licenses, and the needed to improve the preparedness and capacity of industry players.

He said Ghana has developed the GhLAS comprising legality standards, verification protocols, wood tracking system and licensing to ensure that timber operators become abreast of what was expected of them internationally.

Mr. Adu noted that the Forestry Commission has been working with various partners and stakeholders in the VPA process towards the issuance of the FLEGT license.

He said out of the 54 companies in the country, 35 had been trained and shown how to keep information to prove they are working legally in compliance with the FLEGT/VPA.

Dr. Kwame Asamoah Adam, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Timber Millers Organisation (GTMO), mentioned that the operational and technical capacities of the SMFEs had been built to use Ghana’s legality standards, verification manuals and checklists as supportive means to comply with the GhLAS tom make it easy for timber products in the country to meet international standards.

He entreated beneficiaries of the project to continue utilizing the skills and guidance gained, and encourage their colleagues to ensure that timber products from Ghana meets international standards. Dr. Adam was optimistic that the beneficiaries would contribute to the VPA process in Ghana.

Most of the participants from the Kumasi Wood Cluster (KWC), who interacted with this paper, noted that the training, since it was rolled out in 2016, had strengthened their operational capacities for effective compliance with FLEGT VPA, and commended the project organisers and sponsors for a good work done.

The chairman for the occasion, Mr. Mustapha Seidu of Nature and Development Foundation, a non-governmental organization, expressed hope that timber operators would live up to expectation and produce timber products that would compete on the international market.

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