Forestry Commission introduces new digital tracking system to curtail illegal logging


By Thomas Nsowah Adjei and Opoku Nti

The Forestry Commission has simultaneously launched a Digitalized Property Mark Registration and Renewal process as well as Electronic Wood Tracking System at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu Municipality of Ashanti.

The purpose of introducing the new electronic systems is to help have an open market that will help address challenges of illegal logging and cumbersome process and procedures timber contractors go through in transacting business within the Timber Industry.

It will in addition help bring transparency in the cutting and selling of Timber.

The electronic application, the first of its kind in the wood industry, was developed by the Forestry Commission with funding from the British Government.

The economic and social benefits of the new electronic application are enormous as it will help make financial administration efficient.

Chief Director at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, Madam Emilia Botwe stated that the electronic system will not only enhance the smooth operations of the Forestry Commission, but also meet international standards in tracking Timber products.

She said the wood tracking system is a sub-component of the Ghana Timber legality assurance system which ensures that Timber entering the supply chain originates from legal sources.

The Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission Mr. John Allotey explained that the Ghana Wood Tracking system and the property mark is a registration which assigns a unique identity to each Contractor in all his dealings in the Forestry Commission.

Mr. Allotey stated that the introduction of the new application will check inconsistency, and data capture along the supply chain and these can be quickly detected and corrected.

A representative of the British High Commission in Ghana, Dr Julian Wright said he was delighted to support the project since the UK has a long standing working relationship with Ghana particularly the forest sector.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor stated that the world is at a stage where science and technology has become the new system for development.

”It is for this reason that the government is pursuing a digitization agenda in all aspects including the financial, agricultural and educational sectors.”

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