How illegal rosewood logging robs Ghana of its forest reserves
What’s in the news?
With ‘Galamsey’ setting a trend on the plundering of Ghana’s natural resources, the other resource that is threatened is illegal logging which effectively affects Ghana’s forestry. people under the cover of deceit and with official collusion fell endangered trees and ship them out of the country.
The managing editor of the Ghana Business News, Emmanuel Dogbevi, in his report indicated the illegal logging of rosewood was a hot issue that required extra attention. He undertook a two-week investigation traveling to Ghana’s most hit zones to tell the story.
Across Ghana’s arid north, his findings showed that forests were being depleted with careless abandon as ill-equipped state officials look on helplessly, sometimes restricted by official complicity authorizing them to give illegal loggers freedom to operate.
“The level of illegal logging of the precious tree species for export has left a gaping hole in the savannah forests of the country’s northern regions, largely poor and far behind on the development index,” wrote at the beginning of his final report.
He exposes the depletion of the Mole National Park is threatened largely by the logging. Further how a river is drying up and multiple instances of abandoned logs in parts of the forest and wildlife – warthogs – left stranded in arid conditions.
Tema harbor is the main export route of rosewood mostly to China. Available records show that China is the leading destination for rosewood.
What’s its impact on Ghana’s economy?
The report stated: “Since 2012, over 540,000 tons of rosewood – the equivalent of 23,478 twenty-foot containers or approximately six million trees – were illegally harvested and imported into China from Ghana while bans on harvest and trade have been in place.”
Export figures indicate that close to half of the total amount shipped off was missing on the books in Ghana. The export figures are lower than the import figures reported in China. This means that the country is losing revenue due to the illegal logging and contraband of rosewood.
“The loss of stumpage revenue alone was around USD 18 million per year,” says James Parker, West Africa representative at BVRio, a non-profit association promoting trade in legal timber.
Source: Africa News