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Forest Certification Officer of Logs and Lumber Limited (LLL), Mr. Clifford Segborwotso, has appealed to government to equip forest guards to protect the nation’s forests from extinction.
Speaking to media men during a tour of LLL in Kumasi, Mr. Segborwotso indicated that one of the measures needed to sustain Ghana’s forests is to equip forest guards with the requisite accoutrements to fight illegal logging by chain saw operators.
“Government must arm forest guards of the Forestry Commission to protect the forests from the activities of illegal loggers, many of whom are well armed; that is one of the means by which the forests can be protected from extinction,” he appealed.
He expressed concerns over the risks forest guards take in combatting illegal logging, pledging his company’s support to government which is demonstrated by their adherence to due process and the setting up of their own plantation to sustain their business.
The tour, involving media personnel from various media houses in the country, was organized by Nature and Development Foundation (NDF) to train the media on the Public Procurement Policy (PPP) on Timber and Timber Products, meant to compel government to purchase only legal timber and timber products for its projects.
Taking the press men through the Logs and Lumber Ltd facility, Mr. Segborwotso outlined the processes the company goes through to ensure it doesn’t flout the forest laws of the country, disclosing that, “we sell about 20% of our products to local buyers in line with the laws”.
Logs and Lumber Ltd, a Free Zones company, exports the remaining 80% of its finished products to Europe and the US, among others and employs some 1117 workers made up of some 900.
Mr. Glen Asomaning, Operations Director of NDF, revealed that the tour was organized to give the media hands-on understanding of the processes in the timber trade in relation to sustainability of the forests of the country.
“The purpose of the tour is to give the media a practical understanding of the timber trade and how it relates to efforts at sustaining the forests for future generations,” he stated.
Under the sponsorship of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the European Union, Sweden and affiliates, the three-day tour and an initial two-day workshop, saw journalists visiting the Nkawie forest reserve, the Accra, Achimota timber markets and the Sokoban Wood Village in Kumasi.