Sustaining the forest and its resources: the Growing Forest Partnerships approach in Ghana (TV documentary)

The Ghana GFP documentary 'Sustaining the forest and its resources' was aired by Ghana Television (GTV) during primetime on 30 March and on Easter Monday (6 April) 2012 and it is estimated that it was watched by close to a million viewers.

The quotes below are taken from the documentary and give a flavour of just some of the topics covered by the documentary

 

Building platforms to bring people together to discuss legal reforms

“Our laws have been overtaken by events and need to be reformed, and this is currently what is being done. But having said all this, you can see that at the centre of all the destruction is money so that if in terms of forest governance we don’t have a platform that brings together the private sector, civil society, government, to a talking point to be able to resolve their issues, then we cannot make any progress - and that is where the Growing Forest Partnership is a necessary intervention”.

Raphael Yeboah – Executive Director, Forest Services Division, Forestry Commission

 

Bringing private sector into the discussions

“The GFP has been a very good project when it comes to the industry because it has been participatory where most of the industry players were actually involved in thrashing out some of the problems in the forest fringe areas.”

Alexander K. Dadzie - Vice President, Ghana Timber Association

 

Invisible contribution of the informal forest sector to the economy

“The contribution of the forestry sector is not properly captured, there are many other goods and services of the forestry sector which are not captured in the national accounting system, in computing the country’s gross domestic product. An example is bush meat: bush meat alone by our assessment we have found out is worth as much as 275 million dollars – it is a big industry – but it is not captured in our accounting. If you look at the contribution of illegal chainsaw to the timber industry, as much as 80 per cent of the timber that you find on the domestic market comes from illegal chainsaw operations. That is more than 50 million Ghana cedis but this is not captured because it is labelled as illegal so it is not captured in our national accounting system.”

Rev. David  Kpelle - Forestry Commission

 

REDD and the enormous potential for improved earnings from forest sector 

“The forest sector has an enormous potential and with the emerging issues on the carbon trade from REDD there is a whole lot we can do to improve upon the earnings of the forestry sector.”

Richard Gyimah – Ag. Manager, Verification & Field Unit, Forestry Commission

 

People need to be included in decision-making processes

“As long as people are not part of the decision-making process, have no part of the benefits that come from those resources, then they will find their own means of trying to resolve or make ends meet and that is one of the things that we have been seeing as a real challenge.”  

Kingsley Bekoe Ansah – Forest Watch Ghana

 

Next steps:

 

Building on Growing Forest Partnerships' recommendations

“We have created awareness about the key issues and the problems that need to be addressed in the forestry sector, now that we have developed policy briefs - they are actionable steps that government can take to address these issues.”

Rev. David Kpelle - Forestry Commission

 

Importance of governance and benefits sharing

“I think what needs to be done now is to institute and enforce proper governance which has been the recommendation of the Growing Forest Partnerships initiative […] we need to make sure that a proper and well-established benefit-sharing scheme is projected for this industry and I think we will have a better forest and our children to come will also enjoy what we are enjoying now.”

Alexander K. Dadzie - Vice President, Ghana timber Association