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Overview Chainsaw lumbering in Ghana by James Parker.

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1 Overview Chainsaw lumbering in Ghana by James Parker

2 Content of Presentation History of chainsaw lumbering in Ghana Characteristic features of chainsaw lumbering & trade Impact Intended measures planned by Ghana government Actions taken by some NGOs and CBOs Some research work carried out Anticipated results of the EU project

3 Map of Ghana High Forest Zone Lake Volta Savannah Coastal Savannah Alleged zone of commencement of chainsaw lumbering Facts about Ghana Land Area – 238,500 sq km Population- 22,409,572 Capital City - Accra Off. Language- English Religion - Christian, indigenous Believe & Muslim Forest area- 80,000 sq km (34% of area)

4 Definition : Chainsaw lumbering refers to the use of chainsaw to convert timber into lumber for commercial purposes (TBI-Ghana, (2003)).

5 1960s Chainsaw machines were introduced in Ghana to replace the long manual blade and improve felling of trees during logging and land preparation for plantation farming. (FAO, 1974). Late 1970s Chainsaw machine operators were introduced to the techniques of converting logs to lumber using the free hand method to replace pit-sawing. Early 1980s In the early 1980s, use of chainsaw to produce lumber on commercial bases became widespread as a result of decline in sawmill operations due to downward economic trend in Ghana A. History of Chainsaw Lumbering in Ghana

6 Early 1990s The government recognized the socio-economic importance of the chainsaw lumbering enterprise and promulgated the Trees and Timber (chainsaw operations) Regulation 1991 (L.I. 1518) to regulate chainsaw activities. b/n A major policy review of the chainsaw operation was carried out resulting in the promulgation of Timber Resources Management Regulation Act, 1997 (Act 547) and Timber Resources Management Regulation, 1998 (L.I 1647) 1998 Chainsaw lumbering was officially ban in 1998

7 Reasons for banning chainsaw lumbering in 1998 were: 1. Indiscriminate felling of trees including prime species attracting public concern for resource depletion and environmental degradation. 2. High level of waste and inefficiency in converting logs to lumber. 3. No stumpage paid to government. 4. Distorted or skew economic rent distribution. This enabled wood processors to capture a big share of economic rent at the expense of forest owners and local communities. 5. Permits were photocopied and used several times 6. Sponsors (barons) of chainsaw operation directed products to the cities depriving rural folks of lumber supply

8 7. Source of cheap lumber thus affecting domestic sawmills 8. To allow the Forestry Commission improve control over logs and lumber 9. Guarantee future supply of raw materials to the timber industry

9 Measures put in place to enforce the ban on chainsaw lumbering 1. Educate the general public on the illegality of dealing in chainsaw lumber. 2. Identify Sawmills at strategic locations in the high forest zone to supply lumber to the local market 3. Ask sawmills to set aside Twenty percent (20%) of lumber produced for domestic market 4. Establish a taskforce; made up of staff of Forestry Services Division (FSD), police and military to crackdown on culprit and confiscate chainsaw lumber equipments and vehicles used in operations 5. Prosecute offenders.

10 6. Members of Task force and forest resources owning communities that assist with arrest of culprits receives 30% of the seized lumber from chainsaw operators

11 Results on Ban of Chainsaw lumbering: 1. Failed to resolve the chainsaw conflict and has led to FSD staff spending a greater part of their time dealing with chainsaw operators sometimes in violent circumstances. 2. Chainsaw lumbering operations continue and are currently reported by the FSD to be on the increase.

12 Some reasons why the ban on chainsaw lumbering has failed to produce the desired results are: 1. Chain sawn lumber is accepted at market centers as legal commodity contrary to existing laws 2. High demand for chainsaw lumber due to cheap prices 3. Chainsaw lumber dealers have the equipment to process lumber into desired shapes to meet consumers’ taste 4. Sawmills are not supplying the 20% lumber to the domestic 5. Strong support of some local communities for illegal chainsaw operation 6. Operators carry out activities under armed conditions and sometimes in the night

13 7. Poor capacity of FDS staff at the District level to monitor and enforce the ban 8. Connivance of some law enforcement personnel's and FSD staff with illegal operators 9. Law court fines which does not deter offenders

14 B. Characteristic Features of Chainsaw Lumbering & trade Chainsaw lumbering and trade are characterized by the following: 1. The chainsaw machine owners are usually powerful businessmen who live in the cities or big towns 2. The chainsaw machines are operated by small informal groups. 3. The millers do not receive any formal or organized skilled training in chainsaw operation, but learn the trade from other operators who have had long working experience 4. Their working methods is characterized by waste and there is no working standard procedures 5. Felling and milling accidents are very common and fetal 6. The source of their raw material is from farmlands, farm fallows and to some extent from forest reserves

15 7. The mode of acquisition of raw material depends on the social norms relating to tree and land tenure of the locality and may be through authorized or unauthorized 8. They have a good working relationship with local communities and are normally protected

16 C. Impact of chainsaw lumbering The impact of chain saw lumbering can be grouped into positive and negative impacts Positive Impact Socio-economic 1. Chainsaw lumbering constitutes a major economic activity in deprived rural areas in high forest zones in Ghana. It employs over 154,000 in the field of operation alone (FORIG, 2008). Group of people employed include: i. Chainsaw machine operators and their apprentices

17 ii. Porters iii. Loading & off-loading gangs iv. Transporters v. Lumber brokers

18 2. The annual lumber requirement in Ghana for domestic use is about 456,417 m³ (table) Supply to the local market from sawmills is only 103,363m³. The gap between demand and supply is filled by lumber from illegal chainsaw operation End User Number Vol.(m³/y r) % total Required Small-scale carpenters 41,141219, Medium/ large scale furniture companies 25120, Structural use -104, Transport/pallets/packages Total Table: Sawn timber requirement for various end users (FAO, 2005)

19 Negative impact Ecological impact 1.One of the main factors for forest decline from over 8 million hectares at the turn of the 20 th century to about 1.8 million hectares now. 2. Destruction of habitat for wildlife and sources of water. 3.Topsoil loss through erosion 4. Creaming of prime species and creating wider gaps on the canopy leading to invasion of undesirable species. 5. Chainsaw lumbering increase fuel load thereby facilitating the incident and spread of wildfires

20 Economic impact 1. Loss of revenue to government and communities. About 2.7 million m³ of wood, over the Annual Allowable Cut of 1 million m³ equivalent to 1.2 million US dollars/yr (TIDD, 2002). 2. Loss of useful man hours/days used by FC staff, law enforcement agency personnel in patrolling, arresting and persecuting chainsaw lumber operators 3. Cost of monitoring chainsaw activities. E.g. A total of 50,000 US dollars was spend on taskforce operation in the Ashanti Region alone in High cost of forest rehabilitation 5. Destruction to food and cash crops during lumbering 6. Jeopardizes the livelihood of rural communities engaged in small-scale forestry by exposing them to unfair competition and depleting the resources on which they depend

21 Social impact 1.It has weaken the capacity of government to provide social services to the forest-dependent poor, such as technical assistance and proper delimitation and consolidation of property rights (FAO 2005) 2. Strained relationship or conflicts between FC staff and forest fringe communities 3.Businessmen who finance chainsaw operation sometimes fund conflicts e.g chieftaincy disputes to take advantage of conflict situation for personal gains. 4.Chiefs and traditional authorities from communities where chainsaw activities occur lose their credibility, as they are perceived to be conniving with the operators 5. Apprehension of FC staff in the performance of their duties as result threat to their lives

22 Illegal chainsaw activities account for about 1.7 million m³. Together with other illegal logging and legal harvest, the total timber harvest in Ghana amounts up to 3.7 million m³. This is almost double the current official annual allowable cut of 2 million m³. Current situation:

23 D. Intended measures planned by government Ghana Government intended actions planned to control this menace includes; 1. Promoting market-based timber allocation procedures. This is believe to be a better option than regulating chainsaw operation by clumping down on the supply of lumber. 2. Creating alternative livelihood support scheme for chainsaw operators and communities who livelihood depend on chainsaw lumbering especially the youth to create employment avenues. This programmes include; i. Forest plantation thinning ii. Forest boundary demarcation and clearing iii. Forest plantation coppice management iv. Land clearing and other related activities on the on-going national forest plantation development programme

24 v. Assist timber companies in timber harvesting operation in more difficult areas vi. Recovery of timber off-cuts in the forest areas 3. Introducing a tight and effective log monitoring system which track trees; i. From stock survey maps ii. Through felling and extraction using district felling returns iii. To the mills, using log measurement certificate and conveyance iv. Eventually for export through an export permit which details the ship on which it left the country

25 4. Drawing up a comprehensive plan to link up all wood dealers and or sellers with various sawmills to enable the dealers source their lumber and other wood products for sale to the general public 5.Liaising with the various District Assemblies to submit proposals on sitting of mobile mills in strategic locations within their respective districts for production of lumber to feed their localities. These mills will be; i. Granted timber utilization permits ii. The permits will be renewed annually 6. Consulting traditional authorities, local communities and district Assemblies to ensure that; i. Resource owning chiefs, fringe communities and rural communities effectively collaborate with FC in the protection of forests ii. These stakeholders receive adequate and remunerative benefits for their effort

26 ii. District Assemblies, which receives a substantial share of the forest revenue, cooperates with FC to effectively implement programmes aimed at controlling illegal logging and chainsaw operation 7.Collaborating with Judiciary, law enforcement agencies, local communities and other stakeholders to deal with illegal operators by; i. Speedily bringing them to trial by the courts ii. Identifying officers of the FC and security forces whose act of omission and commission are responsible for the ascendancy of chainsaw operation for disciplinary action iii. Instituting an effective forest protection methods with the collaboration of forest fringe communities iv. Providing incentive programmes to communities that will collaborate with FC to secure forest resources

27 8.Consulting with the big consumers (Ministry of Works & housing, Regional Coordinating councils District Assemblies and Real Estate Companies) of lumber and other wood products in the country to ensure that contractors working on governmental projects or any public construction activity source their lumber from the mills or other legitimate source

28 E. Actions being undertaken by Conservation NGOs, CBOs and other stakeholders to control the menace of illegal chainsaw lumbering includes: 1. Carrying out conservation education programmes nationwide and specifically in forest fringe communities 2. Implementing alternative livelihood activities (eco-tourism, snail and grass cutter rearing etc.) development in forest fringe communities 3. Establishment of community forestry association e.g. CREMA to protect forest 4.Establishment of Community Nature Reserve to protect remaining forests outside reserves 5.Organizing forum and meetings to discuss the menace of illegal chainsaw lumbering and come up with workable way forward.

29 Arguments on way forward Policy Makers & forest managers believe that lifting ban will exacerbate problem of deforestation by increasing log harvest from 3.7 to 5 million m³ 1. Maintain ban and improve enforcement Chainsaw operators, Woodworking machine operators and some forest fringed communities says that impacts of chainsaw lumbering have become worse after ban was imposed. Lifting ban will enable government manage and mitigate negative effect 2. Lift ban and control chainsaw lumbering activities

30 Some research work carried out Comparism of lumber yield from chainsaw and band mill. Frimpong- Mensah, K Coping with illegality: conflict over chainsaw lumbering and coping strategies. Marfo, E Lumber recovery from chainsaw milling. Akrasi Analysis of social impact of chainsaw milling: policy implementation. Afranie Illegal chainsaw operation: impact, constrains, challenges and policy reform. Agyemang, V.K., Agyemang, F. and Kyereh, B Chainsaw milling and lumber trade in West Africa. FORIG. 2006

31 E. Anticipated Results of EU project It is anticipated that the EU project ; 1.Will provide adequate information into the pro and cons of legalizing or maintaining the ban on chainsaw lumbering to ensure that right decisions are made 2.Will provide the opportunity to draw lessons from international experiences and approaches for policy to address the chainsaw lumbering problem 3. Will create the necessary forum for all stakeholders to interact and discuss the chainsaw lumbering issues, develop and implement measures to address the problem 4. Will assist communities that depends on chainsaw lumbering to produce lumber in a regulated and sustainable way.

32 Thank you


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