Gov’t hints of punitive measures to curtail illegal rosewood trade

The government has said that it will not spare persons who engage in the illicit harvesting, transporting, processing, trading and exporting of rosewood in the country as it introduces stringent measures to stop the exploitation of the commodity.

According to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, the government, in the coming months, will roll out new policies regarding the use of impounded rosewood.

This is to enhance the current enforcement regime on the ban on the commodity instituted by the government, and ensure that punitive measures are meted out to persons who engage in any illegality regarding rosewood.

Mr Jinapor, said this to journalists when he visited the Tema Port to inspect confiscated containers meant to smuggle rosewood on Tuesday, August 31.

He noted that the ministry was in discussions with the National Security to investigate how some persons were continuously making moves to trade illegally in rosewood.

“We are convinced that there is a very sophisticated cartel involved in this trade, and we think that the national security can unravel,” he said.

“We have requested the national security architecture to assist the ministry to unravel and enable us to better understand the issues and circumstances surrounding the operations of this cartel,” the minister added.

Mr Jinapor said the fight against rosewood trade and exportation is about “our country, natural resources of our country, the forest cover, about the climate of our country and the fight for all of us,” he concluded.

Mr Jinaport, being briefed at the Tema Port

Meanwhile, the ministry has handed over the 13 rosewood containers that were impounded of Friday, August 27, at the Tema Port to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) for a comprehensive investigation.

The investigation seeks to identify the individuals and circumstances that led to the importation of the commodity into the country.

He reiterated the government’s outright ban on rosewood harvesting and trade was still in force, hence the confiscation of the commodity in the country.

Mr Jinapor said that based on the provision of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) five countries in the West African Sub-Region were not allowed to trade in rosewood.

Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Gambia, and Senegal, he said, would be blacklisted for exporting rosewood illegally out of their countries.

READ ALSO: Govt Imposes Total Ban On Rosewood Export

The government in July completely banned the export of rosewood from the country.

The ban is a measure taken by the government to stop illicit harvesting, transporting, processing, trading and exporting of rosewood and control its exploitation.

It was announced by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, in a statement that was cited by The Ghana Report.

Consequently, the minister directed that henceforth, all confiscated rosewood be auctioned only to the domestic market.

Further to this directive, no person who acquires rosewood at such an auction would be permitted to export it outside the country.

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