Ghana

Ghana

Forests cover approximately one fifth of Ghana's total land area. The forest sector makes an important, but declining, contribution to the country’s economy. A key challenge for the country is its declining resource base: Ghana has experienced a high rate of deforestation (over 2%) for the past two decades, and wood-balance estimates indicate that timber consumption considerably exceeds sustainable harvesting levels (Chatham House, 2014).  

There has been significant progress in tackling illegal logging. In November 2009, Ghana became the first country to sign a voluntary partnership agreement (VPA) with the EU, negotiations having begun in December 2006. The country is currently implementing a national timber tracking system for the control, verification and licensing of legal timber. A public procurement policy for timber and timber products has also been drafted (Chatham House, 2014; EFI).

However, illegal logging remains a considerable problem in the country, and a number of enforcement and administrative challenges persist. The majority of illegal logging is by artisanal chainsaw loggers to supply the domestic market. However, illegality is also an issue in supply chains for export (Chatham House, 2014). The abuse of special logging permits has been a particular problem, these linked with an increase in rosewood exports (Global Witness, 2013).