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Experts have predicted that if urgent steps are not taken, Ghana can eventually become a net importer of wood in the next 10 to 15 years.

The country's forest cover, which stood at 8.2 million hectares in 1900, has now been reduced to about 1.2 million hectares. In order to avoid this, the country has set to replant 30,000 hectares of destroyed forests every year to increase the national forest coverage. This is less than half of what current statistics say the country loses annually. About 65,000 hectares of forest is lost annually.Forest Commission boss, Samuel Afari Dartey said recently that the new initiative to replant forms part of plans to revive Ghana's national forest plantation development programme. An ongoing international conference on timber tracking project in Accra, which started on Tuesday aims to develop technologies for tracking illegal timber. The German government with support from the United States (US) and Australia is funding the project being organised by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO).

The conference is being attended by participants from Ghana, Cameroon, cheap-rolex-replica-wholesale.vipprada.com cheap rolex replica Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Singapore, Germany, United Kingdom (UK), Belgium, Australia and Malaysia. Ghana possesses a system of forest reserves, which is second to none in the West African sub-region - forests rich in prime timber, serve critical environmental functions and uniquely, this heritage still belongs to the traditional land-owning communities. The Food and Agriculture Organisation report indicates that forests all over the globe are dwindling at a faster rate. In Ghana natural resources and the availability of land for development are keys to social, economic, cultural, ecological and environmental uplifting. Forestry, wildlife and mining sectors account for about 15 percent of Ghana's Gross Domestic Products (GDP), 25 percent of government revenues and 60 percent of foreign exchange. However, these important annual contributions from the sectors are said to be under unrelenting threats from illegal chainsaw lumbering, illegal mining and general insecurity in landowning. Desecration of these natural endowments has been estimated to cost the nation at least 10 percent per year of Ghana's GDP. The country's recent launch of an expanded National Forest Plantation Development Programme (NFPDP) is, therefore, seen to be a critical intervention in the forest resource base resuscitation ambitions. Although many legal instruments have been established to combat illegal logging and trade of illegally sourced timber, Dartey said practical control mechanisms to identify the tree species and geographic origin of wood products have been the missing link. Gesa Burchards, GIZ country director, said by supporting the project, the German government wants to assist wood producing countries in their effort to enforce national forest laws and make it unattractive to carry out illegal activities.