The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has directed that, with effect, no Rosewood shall be exported out of Ghana.
Furthermore, all confiscated Rosewood, be auctioned only to the domestic market.
Further, no person who acquires Rosewood at such auction shall be permitted to export it outside the country.
The Minister’s directive follows the arrest of some Rosewood trees in the Northern Region.
A statement signed by the Minister said, whereas, Rosewood remains a restricted wood species under Appendix (II) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Ghana has a responsibility under the Convention to protect these species by controlling their exploitation.
The statement said, the Ministry has taken notice of the unfortunate practice whereby some unscrupulous individuals, Ghanaians and foreigners alike, who harvest Rosewood illegally, manage to participate in the lawful auction of such confiscated Rosewood by the Forestry Commission.
“These people then disingenuously turn around to export the same Rosewood to the international market.”
The practice, the statement noted, encourages the illicit harvesting, transporting, processing, trading and export of Rosewood, in spite of the existing ban.
The Minister has, therefore, directed the Forestry Commission, to while the ban remains in force, cease the issuance of CITES permits for the purposes of exporting Rosewood, whether the Rosewood was acquired legally or otherwise.
By: Felix Cofie.