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Monday, 25 September 2017

EU supports Ghana achieve sustainable development

The European Union (EU) and its member states are committed to supporting the conservation, sustainable management and use of natural resources, as well as the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems. These include forests, oceans, coastal areas, river basins and other ecosystems for the provision of ecosystem services. In line with international commitments, they have committed to tackling illegal logging and its associated trades - land and forest degradation, desertification, drought and biodiversity loss - and also promoting co-benefits from sustainable management, including enhancing climate resilience and adaptation. They enhance the integration of sustainability in all cooperation sectors and raising the profile of environmental issues in dialogue with their partners. Speaking to the Daily Graphic at his office in Accra, the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Mr William Hanna, noted that Ghana was the first country in the world to sign a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU under the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Scheme. Ambassador Hanna noted that a new online wood tracking system had been rolled out, enhancing the Forestry Commission’s capacity to enforce regulations and manage forests sustainably. He expressed the hope that the government would push strongly for the attainment of the FLEGT licensing which will mark a significant milestone in Ghana’s progress towards her ability to issue legality licences to all timber exports. The ambassador said Ghana would then become the second country in the world after Indonesia and the first in Africa to do this. “These licences are expected to offer markets the assurance that the timber products they are buying from Ghana have been harvested from forests where all environmental obligations have been respected, social obligations to local communities have been met, health and safety standards in the mills have been enforced and all taxes and payments have been made. The FLEGT Action Plan which was adopted by the EU in 2003 sought to address illegal logging and the social, economic and environmental harm it causes.

Source: www.graphic.com.gh