The Member of Parliament for the Builsa South Constituency in the Upper East Region, Dr. Clement Apaak, has petitioned the Special Prosecutor to investigate a report on alleged illegal felling of Rosewood in Ghana.
The report was published by the Environmental Investigation Agency of the United States.
The report cited the Forestry Commission and the Wildlife Division for allegedly issuing illegal permits for the felling of the tree.
In March 2019, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources announced a ban on the felling and exportation of Rosewood.
Addressing the media in Parliament on Wednesday, Dr. Apaak alleged that some government appointees are being issued with permits to fell the tree hence his petition to the Special Prosecutor.
“I have petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the allegations of bribery that has allowed the illegal rosewood business to thrive and prosecute those involved. I have submitted the petition to the Office of the Special Prosecutor today, Wednesday. In the petition, I provided him details by the EIA. I have reached out to the EIA in the US, and they have indicated their readiness to provide the Office of the Special Prosecutor with more details on this so that he can investigate and prosecute anyone including party and government officials behind this illegal trade,” he said.
Clement Apaak has in the past criticized government’s seeming lack of seriousness towards the fight against the illegal felling of rosewood in the country.
Having expressed his disappointment with the enforcement of the ban on the felling of Rosewood Dr. Apaak believes the ban is ‘non-existent’ citing the ongoing illegal exports of rosewood despite the ban.
The MP now wants Ghanaians to show how incensed they are over the development through peaceful protests.
“I call on the good people of Ghana to rise and defend the land. There have been demonstrations against hardship and other challenges in this country. But it’s also about time that we rose against this illegal rosewood business.”
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.