Licensed Company Stopped From Cutting Rosewood

The Upper West Regional Coordinating Council is picking the well-being of the environment over business interests as it has refused to allow a lumbering firm with a legal permit, to cut rosewood in its domain.

The Forestry Commission in a letter July 2017 approved a permit for the lumbering firm, AttaKey Limited, to allow it to salvage 5000 cubic metres of rosewood from the Upper West and three other regions.

But in an August 30, 2017 response to the Forestry Commission letter sighted by Citi News, the Upper West Coordinating Council says it will not comply with the directive to “protect the fragile and fast depleting environment of the region.”

“…I am therefore to inform you that the directives per your letter cannot be implemented in this region for the best interest of the state,” the letter signed by the Acting Regional Coordinating Director, A.K Boahene, said.

The ban on cutting and export of rosewood was announced by Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, as part of efforts to bring sanity in the forestry sector.

As part of the ban, the Forestry Commission was also directed to stop the issuance of cutting permits for rosewood.

Reports in August indicated some 25 companies had been given the approval to salvage Rosewood from the Brong-Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions.

An August 16, 2017, letter signed by acting Executive Director of the Forestry Commission, Forest Services Division, directed the affected companies to comply with the guidelines for the evacuation of lying logs, harvesting, processing and transportation of the Rosewood.

The companies by the guidelines were to, among others, maximize revenue and logs with a valid permit by selling them at GHC120.00, while confiscated logs shall be sold at GHC200.00.