Mr. Andrew Adjei Yeboah, Deputy Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines on Friday, expressed concern about the upsurge in the activities of chainsaw operators.
“Government is losing a lot of money because chain saw operators do not pay any royalties to the state,” he said in an address at the 13th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Institute of Foresters (GIF) in Accra.
It was under the theme, “Ghana @ fifty: The State of our Forest Heritage”.
Mr Adjei Yeboah said the destruction of forest and water bodies had contributed to the energy crisis facing the country.
He said the Ministry was collaborating with the Volta River Authority (VRA) to lobby for a different law to prosecute illegal chain saw operators.
The timber industry was the third major foreign exchange earner for country after cocoa and minerals, but has been pushed to fourth by tourism.
Ghana is among three tropical countries likely to attain the International Tropical Timber Organisation Objective 2000, where timber products could be certified as coming from well managed forests.
Mr Kweku Prah Ghartey, National President of GIF, said the country’s forest resources were worse than before.
He noted that foresters had failed to effectively control illegal exploitation, promote natural regeneration and sustainable management of forest resource.
“Our major pre-occupation has been on ‘timber’ or facilitating production of timber to the exclusion of the production of other forest goods and services.”
Mr Ghartey proposed stiffer sanctions for forest offences, adding that laws covering the supply of wood products to the domestic market should be reviewed.
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