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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ghana, EU to intensify fight against illegal logging

Ghana and the EU have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. The FLEGT aims to fight illegal logging and associated trade on its markets by timber supplying countries, including Ghana. It is also part of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) signed between Ghana and the EU in 2009 in order to fight illegal logging and trade in associated timber products.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Ms Barbara Serwaa Asamoah, said the introduction of the law would enable Ghana and the EU to halt trade in illegal timber and also give Ghana the licence to verify the legality of timber export to the EU market. She added that a wood tracking system had been developed to help the Forestry Commission (FC) track illegal logging activities before they entered the EU market.
“The tracking system makes use of the latest technology to manage data collected by FC officials using electronic hand-held devices at various control points throughout the supply chain,” she said.
The Head of the EU Delegation, Mr Claude Maerten, said “The EU now encourages Ghana to take the last remaining steps towards full operation of the system and issue of a VPA licence as soon as possible. By so doing, Ghana will be able to fully exploit new market opportunities for legally licensed timber following the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation and similar laws in other timber large importing countries”.

Source: EU Politics Today