Certified sustainable timber on rise in Ghana
Ghana has made a concerted effort to improve forestry practices by guaranteeing that timber for export to Europe be sustainably harvested:
"...a legally-binding voluntary partnership agreement is already in place to ensure that all timber entering European markets from Ghana are officially certified. The arrangement is bound to undercut illegal logging, by forcing or committing Ghana to develop a transparent system for collecting taxes on the sales of timber. In turn, the EU is required to develop and enforce border control measures aimed at preventing unlicensed Ghanaian wood from entering its markets. Currently, more than half of Ghana's yearly £200 million timber harvest is sold to Europe, but World Bank studies estimate that up to 60 percent of logging in the country is illegal."
These types of certification regimes stand the potential to have a large impact on forestry practices in countries like Ghana. At the same time, without enforcement of existing laws, and with 60% of current logging being illegal, the certification of EU export timber may leave large loopholes for continued illegal logging of close to half of Ghana's timber harvest.
Sources:Center for Democracy and Development, July 2010 pg. 6: