Timber is one of the many natural resources that Ghana has been endowed with.
Timber was grossing about five to seven percent of Ghana’s GDP and this was only after cocoa and gold.
Owing to mismanagement and dwindling forest resources including timber, the importance of timber in the export earnings of Ghana keeps depreciating.
The timber sector, that is forestry and timber industry, is important for Ghana because it provides jobs and incomes for numerous local communities and contributes to Ghana’s foreign exchange earnings through timber products export.
From 1990 up to now, timber production is Ghana’s fourth biggest foreign exchange earner.
In 2004, Ghana earned €170 million from 0.5 million m3 of wood product export products.
The timber production in this sector is associated with an increasing environmental burden in terms of the use of resources and the production of emissions and waste.
Recently, the concerns about environmental impacts have gone beyond relying on existing national regulation because international markets are increasingly demanding environmentally sound products.
This development coupled with the earlier situation of timber unavailability and high cost on the local market is a cause for concern. If the timber is not readily available on the local market and it is not being aggressively exploited and exported, then where is our timber?
On a visit to the Timber market in Accra Marchants bitterly shares with the business desk their challenges and that government must put in proper regulations and tax policies
Charles a merchant in the Accra timber market tells us what has changed in the market; the changes here are that we used to get woods on a larger scale but the government and forestry commission says we should stop buying the chain saw and get the sawmill but it’s challenging to get the sawmill.
He added that they wish that the sawmill suppliers will feed the local market and reduce export.
Clement pleaded with the Government to give proper licenses so that the chainsaw operators could supply the local market to decrease the cost of wood in the market.
All the fine product are being exported to other countries
Others say Price fluctuation makes their businesses meaningless. Government should implement regulations and tax policies.
ConclusionTherefore, analyzing the environmental performance of the timber sector, it provides an effective step to develop, implement and improve its environmental management.
Although we are in an era of sustainable development, there is a general lack of this culture in Ghana, and the forestry sector is no exception.
Timber merchant is calling on the government to put in place proper regulations and taxation policies.
Story by Naa Anyema Collison