Correspondence from Eastern Region:
The Okyeman Mining Protection Unit at Bunso Junction in the Eastern Region has impounded two trailers loaded with rosewood.
The rosewood were said to be illegally logged and were going to be transported to China, according to information gathered by Ghanaweb.
The Government of Ghana banned the logging, importation and domestic use of rosewood in 2012 because of it’s endangered nature but perpetrators do not seem concerned about the ban.
Since 2012, over six million rosewood trees, approximately 23,478 of twenty footer containers, have been illegally harvested and exported out of the country, according to an Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) report.
The EIA report implicates top Government officials in the illegal harvesting and exportation of the rosewood despite the ban.
Ghana continues to lose millions of cedis and suffers the consequences of desertification as a result of such criminal activities.
In an interview with the Operations Manager of the Okyeman Mining Protection Unit, Okogyeman Apedja Ofori, he said he and his men accosted the trailers at Bunso Junction heading towards Accra from Wenchi in the Bono Region.
“When we went to search the vehicles we realised that they were carrying some wood. We asked them for the permit covering the wood but they could not produce it. We stood there in bantam with the drivers for over 45 minutes and God being so good, a pickup car carrying some military men arrived at the scene.
“The leader of the military men also came to check the wood and disclosed that the pieces of wood were rosewood which have been banned from being felled in Ghana.
“You can imagine how precious that wood (rosewood) would be considering even how expensive a car called Rolls Royce is. So, there is every justification not to joke with our rosewood,” he said.
The Operations Manager said with the help of Forestry Commission officers and the police, the two trailers were impounded and sent to Okyenhene’s palace at Kyebi.
He cautioned Forestry Commission staffers manning the various Checkpoints in Ghana to be extra vigilant because these trailers had crossed the barriers in Bono and Ashanti regions without being apprehended.
“But for our vigilance, through the inspiration of Okyenhene’s passion for environmental protection, they would have crossed to their destination and Ghana would be at a loss,” Okogyeman Apedja Ofori said.