The Minister of Lands and Natural Resource, Samuel Abu Jinapor has issued a directive that effective 2nd July 2021 no Rosewood shall be exported out of Ghana.
This directive adds up to the banning of the harvest of Rosewood in the country since 2014.
The Ministry in a press release explained that this new directive seeks to address the exportation of Rosewood by persons engaged in illegal Rosewood harvesting and those who had managed to participate in the lawful auction of such confiscated Rosewood by the Forestry Commission.
It further directs all “confiscated Rosewood be auctioned only to the domestic market, and that no person who acquires Rosewood at such auction shall be permitted to export it outside the country.”
Rosewood still remains a restricted wood species under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
While the ban remains in force, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has instructed the Forestry Commission to “cease the issuance of CITES permits for the purposes of exporting Rosewood, whether the Rosewood was acquired legally or otherwise.”
The ban against the harvesting and exporting of Rosewood was issued on 1st January 2014 and has been renewed by successive governments.
Despite the ban, the country has recorded several cases of illegal harvesting of the wood, which have been confiscated by the Forestry Commission.
MINISTRY OF LANDS AND NATURAL RESOURCES
OUTRIGHT BAN ON THE EXPORT OF ROSEWOOD
Whereas the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (hereinafter called “the Ministry”) is responsible for ensuring the sustainable management and efficient and effective utilisation of the nation’s lands, forests, wildlife and other natural resources for the socio-economic growth and development of the country;
Whereas Rosewood remains a restricted wood species under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Ghana has a responsibility under the Convention to protect these species by controlling their exploitation;
Whereas the Ministry has placed a ban on the harvesting of Rosewood;
Whereas the Ministry has taken notice of the unfortunate practice whereby some unscrupulous individuals, Ghanaians and foreigners alike, who harvest Rosewood illegally, manage to participate in the lawful auction of such confiscated Rosewood by the Forestry Commission, and then disingenuously turn around to export the same Rosewood to the international market;
Whereas the practice as stated in the immediate preceding paragraph, encourages the illicit harvesting, transporting, processing, trading and exporting of Rosewood, in spite of the subsisting ban; and
Whereas the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (hereinafter called “the Minister”) is desirous of taking appropriate measures to end the operations of these cartels and the illicit trade in Rosewood;
NOW THEREFORE the Minister hereby directs that, effective immediately, no Rosewood shall be exported out of Ghana;
The Minister further directs that all confiscated Rosewood, be auctioned ONLY to the domestic market and that no person who acquires Rosewood at such auction shall be permitted to export it outside the country.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Minister also directs the Forestry Commission, to, while the ban remains in force, cease the issuance of CITES permits for the purposes of exporting Rosewood, whether the Rosewood was acquired legally or otherwise.
HON. SAMUEL A. JINAPOR, MP
MINISTER FOR LANDS AND NATURAL RESOURCES