Thursday, September 4, 2008
GOVERNMENT OF GHANA SIGNS AN AGREEMENT WITH EUROPEAN UNION ON FOREST LAW ENFORCEMENT GOVERNANCE AND TRADE.
The Government of Ghana has signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement(VPA) with the European Union on forest law enforcement Governance and Trade. The Sector Minister for Land Forest and Mines Hon Esther Obeng Dappah who signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Ghana at the on-going 3rd High Level Forum Conference recalled that Ghana in 2003 during an Africa Forest Law Enforcement and Governance made commitments in the form of a Declaration to ensure Good Governance on the Continent Forestry Sector.
According to her, the commitment by Ghana to that Declaration and other international conventions on the environment has been informed, over the years, by recognition of the need to ensure sustainable forest management, environment quality improvement as well as to optimize the benefit of the country’s natural resource endowment to the people for the speedy socio-economic development and poverty alleviation.
Hon. Esther Obeng Dapaah noted that Ghana is the first country to be able to prepare and conclude negotiation on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement and said assure the European Union Delegation that Ghana understand the agreement and is committed to ensuring that all timber export to the EU will be legally compliant and that all timber consignment will be accomplished by chain of custody statement as well as legality licenses.
She therefore requested that all the resource pledges made by all stakeholders involved in the negotiation process, for effective implementation of the agreement be made available on a timely basis.
The VPA among other things expresses a strong mutual commitment to provide a concerted response to the problem of illegal logging and trade in associated timber products, by linking good forestry governance in Ghana with the legal trade instrument and leverage offered by the EU’S internal market.