The Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Clement Apaak has criticized the government’s seeming lack of seriousness towards the fight against the illegal felling of rosewood in the country.
Expressing his disappointment with the enforcement of the ban on the felling of Rosewood in an interview with Citi News, Mr Apaak said, to him, the ban is ‘non-existent’ citing the ongoing illegal exports of rosewood despite the ban.
“I don’t think there is any fight against the illegal logging hauling and export of rosewood. One would expect that even if indeed there is a fight and those who were responsible for enforcing the law were up and doing, we shouldn’t be seeing an increase in the export of rosewood.” Mr Apaak said.
The MP stated that he feels the rise in Rosewood exports indicate the unseriousness of the government in addressing the issue and accused the government of colluding with some persons to perpetuate the illegality.
“How is it possible that the same government which has announced a ban on this product turns around to allow state institutions under its auspices grant permits for the export of a product that is deemed banned. Simply put, there is some collusion and connivance and I think it is a clear example of the lack of serious,” said Mr Apaak.
In an interview with Citi News last month, John Allotey, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, blamed locals for involving foreigners in the illegal trade.
“We found out that some Ghanaians with those permits team up with Chinese just like we have in Galamsey and they are exporting those products to China so then you will have Chinese involvement,” Allotey said.
The Member of Parliament’s statement comes after a Chinese national, Helena Huang was arrested with four containers of rosewood she was planning to smuggle out of the country.
Huang has subsequently been deported and no formal charges were pressed against her.
In June this year research conducted by the Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS) in collaboration with Kalakpa Youth Club and the Abutia Development Union found that 200 containers of rosewood were smuggled from the Kalakpa Resource Reserve in Abutia, in the Volta Region illegality.