The export of charcoal faces a ban if it is found to be a major contributor to increased deforestation in the country, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, has announced.
According to him, the government was currently examining the link between the export of the product and high incidence of deforestation saying “we will ban if a conclusive determination is made that charcoal export is driving deforestation.”
The Minister was speaking at Sunyani yesterday after a meeting with the Bono Regional Security Council.
The meeting formed part of the Minister’s four-day tour of the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions.
Mr Jinapor noted that the Ministry was aware of the available huge global market for charcoal due to its varied use in the pharmaceutical industry.
“I am told of the huge market for the export of charcoal. It is a major raw material for the pharmaceutical industry of the world.
It is used for the production of toothpaste as well. This has led to upsurge of the export of charcoal. So we are examining its role in driving deforestation in our country. With the concern of President Nana Akufo-Addo, we will ban it if our examination proves right,” he stated.
As part of efforts to stop the wanton degradation of the country’s forest reserves, he said, the government was pursuing two strategies of protecting the existing forest cover and increased afforestation, dubbed Greening Ghana.
MrJinapor stated that the government’s ban on the harvesting, processing and export of rosewood as well as prospecting and reconnaissance in forest reserves, were all geared toward protecting the existing forests.
“While stopping the harvesting of trees, we are also undertaking an aggressive afforestation to replace the lost cover.
This is why as a Minister, I have never granted licence to anyone for the harvesting of trees in forest areas. The strategy is to protect and replace,” he explained.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, SUNYANI