Protect forest cover – Women in timber urge govt

Women in Timber Ghana, an association of women in the timber industry, has called on the government to take the necessary steps to mitigate impending challenges posed by the European Deforestation Regulation law.

They have, therefore, announced their intention to stage a demonstration to raise awareness of the law and the urgent need to protect Ghana’s forest cover and combat illegal mining.

The law

The law, set to take effect in December 2024 aims to curb deforestation and promote sustainable land use practices worldwide.

In line with the law, exporters of seven forest commodities to the European Union must prove that their products are deforestation-free.

However, the association fears that Ghana’s forest commodities industry will be severely impacted, with cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, wood, rubber, and cattle or beef being the most affected.


The European Deforestation Regulation law requires companies to conduct due diligence on their supply chains to ensure that they are not contributing to deforestation or illegal land use. Failure to comply with the law could result in fines and other penalties which could have a devastating impact on Ghana’s economy.

After the law takes effect on December 30, 2024, large companies would have a grace period of 12 months to comply while smaller companies would have 18 months to ensure they meet all requirements.

The law applies to operators or businesses who export any of the seven forest commodities to the EU market or anyone in the supply chain of forest commodities from Ghana.

The law aims to reduce the EU deforestation footprints.


According to the President of the Women in Timber Ghana, Ernestina Owusu Bannahene,  “We cannot sit idly while our forest cover is depleted and our livelihoods are threatened. We urge the government to take immediate action to address the issues of illegal mining and deforestation and put in place measures to ensure the sustainability of our forest commodities industry.”

The demonstration, which is expected to draw hundreds of women from across the country, will take place in Kumasi, Accra and other yet-to-be-agreed regional capitals.

It will feature a march through the city, followed by a rally at a designated point and then a presentation of a petition.

The association has called on all stakeholders, including government officials, traditional leaders and civil society organisations, to join them in their quest to protect Ghana’s forest cover and promote sustainable development.

The Women in Timber Association is urging the government to take steps to mitigate the challenges posed by the law.

Such steps, they said, must include the development of a national plan to combat deforestation promote sustainable land use practices and strengthen laws and regulations related to illegal mining and deforestation.

They also called on the government to provide support to smallholder farmers and forest communities to adopt sustainable practices and establish a fund to support the development of sustainable forest commodities.

The association believes that with the government’s support and commitment, Ghana could avoid the challenges posed by the European Deforestation Regulation law and promote sustainable development for generations to come.

“We are not against development, but we want development that is sustainable and does not harm our environment,” said Mrs Owusu Bannahene.

“We urge all Ghanaians to join us in this fight to protect our forest cover and promote a better future for ourselves and our children.”

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