Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Forestry Commission Should Sell All Seized Rosewood Logs To Local Timber Processing Firms

It has just been reported that the Forestry Commission has given a two-week ultimatum to the owners of siezed container loads of rosewood logs to regularise their documentation - and export them.

As is usual with most of the Ghanaian media the report was short on detail, unfortunately.

Be that as it may, in essence, clearly, whiles the minister for lands and natural resources, the courageous Hon John Peter Amewu, is showing - by deeds not words - that he understands the existential threat posed to Ghanaian society by the decimation of what is left of our nation's natural heritage, and is consequently determined to protect it; the cynical man now in charge of the Forestry Commission, John Owusu-Afriyie,  is rather busy accommodating those behind the illegal rosewood export trade. Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o.

What is going on in Ghana's forestry sector is frightening. We are literally allowing a greedy and powerful few to impoverish future generations of our people with impunity.

The question is: How can decent folk allow criminals and lawless elements to continue degrading the natural environment, in good conscience?

The unfathomable greed that drives the powerful few now decimating what is left of our nation's natural heritage (valuable natural capital, incidentally) must be countered by a ruthless enforcement of all the laws protecting Mother Nature in Ghana. Nothing else will do.

Those selfish and greedy people behind illegal logging, illegal gold mining and illegal sand-winning across vast  swathes of the Ghanaian countryside, don't care one jot about the effect of their actions on their fellow humans.

Making money is all they care about - and damn everyone else.

That is why they must be stopped at all costs before they make life even more unbearable for the rest of Ghanaian society - at a time when our country is being impacted negatively by global climate change.

It is outrageous that those selfsame criminal syndicates behind the container loads of illegally felled rosewood logs are being given time by the Forestry Commission to 'legalise' their illegal actions and export same.

Who in the Forestry Commission came up with  this myopic new policy ? Perchance, is it business as usual in the Forestry Commission - in this new era of  concern for Mother Nature?

Or is it indeed the case, as some allege, that that confounded compromise has been arrived at and secured by the crimials behind the illegal rosewood log trade paying bribes to people high up  in the Forestry Commission?

The question there is: Who and who in the upper echelons of the Forestry Commission came  up with such a daft policy in the first place?

Alas, some of us are convinced that  nothing good will ever come out of the Forestry Commission for as long as an unprincipled character like John Owusu-Afriyie in charge of that establishment.

That cynical and partisan man has no character whatsoever. A man with no moral compass is simply not fit to lead the Forestry Commission. Full stop.

The president must simply remove him from the Forestry Commission - and send him to Nigeria as Ghana's high commissioner to our giant sister nation. He will do a better job there for Mother Ghana.

It is such a pity that a decent fellow like Hon Kokofu was overlooked for that buffoon and hypocrite, John Owusu-Afriyie. The question is: Who used the president's name to put a provincial-minded and unethical character like that in charge of a vital state institution like the Forestry Commission?

All the consficated rosewood logs must be sold to local timber processing companies - and the proceeds used to provide rosewood seedlings for unemployed youth to establish agro-forestry plantations growing rosewood trees. Haaba.
This new daft policy of allowing the selfsame  foreign criminals who have been felling rosewood trees illegally to get away with their defiant actions - in  felling rosewood trees even after the felling of rosewood trees for export  was banned - must be rescinded immediately.

The Forestry Commission must rather go ahead to sell all the seized rosewood logs to local timber processing firms. Full stop.
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