Forestry Commission launches portal on information on logging in Ghana

A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio on Thursday launched an interactive portal to help provide accurate information on logging in Ghana.

The website; was developed by Civic Response , a natural resource and environmental governance policy advocacy organisation in Ghana and the Forestry Commission under the auspices of the former’s civil society-led independent Forestry Monitoring with funding from the European Union, Swedish International Cooperation Agency and UK Aid.

In attendance were representatives from Ghana, La Cote d’ Ivoire, Cameroon, Congo and Liberia.

Mr Owusu-Bio in a remark  said the aim of the portal was for constant information on the various valid logging permits, timber logging companies and their areas of operation that were generated from time to time.

He said the emergence of the portal was part of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement signed between Ghana and the EU in 2009 which commits the Forestry Commission (FC) to proactively share information on forest management with the public.

He said the launch of the website demonstrated the advancement in good governance by the Commission despite the lack of progress in a national Right to Information law.

“Without credible information, it is not possible for local communities or civil society to work to address illegalities in the forest sector.

The minister expressed gratitude to all implementing stakeholders of the project for supporting the creation of the portal since its inception.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie explained that  all the information about the activities of the commission at all levels could be accessed both in Ghana and outside the country.

He said the public portal was linked to the electronic Ghana Wood Tracking System (GWTS), which is a complete database of information on timber production process in Ghana.

By Benedicta Gyimaah Folley



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