Akufo-Addo lied at Climate Summit over ineffective ban on logging of rosewood-NDC MP


The Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clemenbt Apaak has opined that the illegal felling of rosewood has hit the rocks because government has failed to show commitment.

The legislator who has been a campaigner towards the fight against the illegal felling of rosewood believes with the recent publications and media reports on activities of illegal rosewood fellers including Chinese nationals, the fight would not be achieved.

According to him, although President Akufo-Addo told a gathering at Climate Change Summit in Austria that his administration had banned the logging and export of rosewood, the ban has been effective.

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his government has taken the policy decision to integrate climate action into Ghana’s national development agenda, i.e. the Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017- 2022).

Speaking at the R20 Austrian World Summit on Climate Change, on Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, the President revealed that, at the local level in Ghana, all local assemblies have been mandated to address climate change issues in their medium-term development plans.

He noted that a ban has also been imposed on the harvesting of rosewood timber as one of the measures to protect Ghana’s forests and endangered species. Again, through the “Youth in Afforestation” Programme, over 20,000 youth have been employed to plant 10 million trees across the country, as a way of increasing carbon sinks in the country.

But the MP in a statement said; ‘’Interestingly, our President, NADAA, is busy telling the world that his government has banned the logging and export of rosewood to protect our forest at a Climate change summit in Austria, when in actual fact the ban is ineffective.’’

He continued: ‘’Sadly, the lack of clarity about how the ban is being enforced and which institutions, agencies and services are responsible has created room for the criminal rosewood pillagers and their collaborators to continue the destruction of the savannah woodland ecological forest.’’

Dr. Apaak has therefor reiterated the need for government to apply the same approach in the fight against galamsey in the fight again st the illegal logging of rosewood.

‘’Mr. President, the ban on the illegal logging and export of rosewood is ineffective. I’ve suggested several times that the same effort and strategy adopted in the fight against illegal mining must be applied to protect the rosewood tree and by extension protect the savannah woodland ecological forest. You have every right to tell the world about the ban, I also have the right to tell you that the ban is ineffective! Please make it effective.’’

 

Read the full statement below

 

Rosewood Diaries – Ineffective Ban and Matters Arising

The fight to save the rosewood tree is not close to being won given the laxity in enforcement of what many consider a pretentious reinforced ban by the Nana Addo led NPP government. The very bizarre and shocking stories in relation to rosewood in the media, and the flimsy excuses from persons in authority are ample testimony.

Interestingly, our President, NADAA, is busy telling the world that his government has banned the logging and export of rosewood to protect our forest at a Climate change summit in Austria, when in actual fact the ban is ineffective.

Sadly, the lack of clarity about how the ban is being enforced and which institutions, agencies and services are responsible has created room for the criminal rosewood pillagers and their collaborators to continue the destruction of the savannah woodland ecological forest.

How can the ban be enforced, and therefore be effective when state agencies/institutions, rather than putting in the efforts to prevent the illegal logging of rosewood in the first place, are fighting over who takes custody of impounded containers of rosewood! I can understand the role of the Forestry Commission, what of EOCO and GRA? We need an explanation from GRA and EOCO on their various roles in the matter of rosewood. Is it the case that the turf war motivated by the revenue to accrue from the questionable prices at which impounded rosewood is auctioned?

Shocking but true, a rosewood pillager, a Chinese national, Helen Wang, is at large after being arrested and granted bail in Tamale. What of the illegal rosewood processing site/plant discovered in the vicinity of Damongo, the Capital of the Savannah region? What action has been taken against the Chinese owners and their Ghanaian collaborators?

But, all these embarrassing occurrences could have been prevented if the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources had put out the exact details of the ban; which state institutions, agencies, services and or personnel are in charge of the enforcement of the ban, and what the role of other stakeholders are! If Government had issued a communiqué outlining how the renewed ban is being enforced, the citizens of Ghana and community members in the source areas could have been clear on their roles and would be in a position to help in the fight against illegal logging, haulage and export of rosewood.

And if I may ask, where are the containers and logs confiscated since renewed and so-called comprehensive ban? How many containers have been impounded since the renewed ban? What actions have been taken against the owners of the vehicles? What has happened to the vehicles carrying the illegal rosewood? What of the owners of the stolen rosewood and the associated collaborators?

Mr. President, the ban on the illegal logging and export of rosewood is ineffective. I’ve suggested several times that the same effort and strategy adopted in the fight against illegal mining must be applied to protect the rosewood tree and by extension protect the savannah woodland ecological forest. You have every right to tell the world about the ban, I also have the right to tell you that the ban is ineffective! Please make it effective.

I remain a citizen.

Dr. Clement Apaak
M.P, Builsa South

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