Despite the ban on Rosewood still being enforce, trees continue to be felled without respect to the ban on harvesting, transportation, processing and exporting of same.
Data from the Research and Statistic Department of the Forestry Commission depicts that large volumes of rosewood are exported out of the country annually, as well as the number of companies involved in the trade at a high number.
Cumulatively, from 2017 to the first quarter in 2019, about 111,034 metric tonnes of rosewood were exported out of the country, with the value of €80.03 million.
During this period, the number of exporters of the wood increased significantly 41 companies in 2017, and further increase significantly by 29 companies to 70 companies. However, in the first quarter of 2019, 37 companies have been licensed to export the wood.
From 2014 to 2016 a total of about 140,278 metric tonnes of rosewood, with the value of €88.2 million were export out of the shores of the country. In 2014, the number of companies operating the space were 23, however, this decreased to 13 and further reduced to 11 in 2016.
In an interview with Goldstreet Business on the matter, the Technical Advisor at the Forestry Commission, Dr. Kwakye Ameyaw reiterated that, currently, the harvesting of Rosewood was illegal in any part of the country, adding that the transportation and export of Rosewood had been suspended.
Rosewood is one of the tree species found in the middle belt and Northern parts of the country.
The Commission is expected to suspend the issuance and processing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) permits for the export of Rosewood.
The Ministry of Lands And Natural Resources medium-term measure is to control further harvesting of Rosewood, arrangements were made in collaboration with the CITES and Civil Society Organisations to introduce a quota system to regulate how much Rosewood was exploited.
On a long-term basis a policy on tree tenure and benefit sharing for trees outside the forest is currently being discussed to motivate farmers to resist the illegal exploitation of Rosewood.