Ngo Enhances Knowledge On The Voluntary Partnership Agreement
Accra, May 3, GNA – Tropenbos International (TBI) Ghana, a forestry sector non-governmental organisation based in Kumasi, would on Thursday, May 5, hold a Closeout Workshop to mark the end of the ‘Timber Legality Compliance and Advocacy’ project (TILCAP).
The project, which supports intermediaries with information and guidance to comply with the Timber Legality Assurance System and also engage in advocacy on domestic market reforms, was funded by the European Union (EU) for a period of two and a half years.
A statement issued in Accra by Mr Boakye Twumasi Ankrah, Project Officer, said the implementation of the project was necessitated by the low level of knowledge on forest governance among Small and Medium Forest Enterprises (SMFEs) in Ghana.
It said the project was required, particularly on issues of forest laws and policies and more especially, issues on Ghana’s Legality Assurance System (LAS) under the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) signed between Ghana and the EU on November 20, 2009.
‘The project thus concentrated on filling in the information gap among players in the timber industry by organising workshops which focused on providing trade associations of SMFE with information and guidance on Ghana’s Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS),’ it added.
The statement said it established channels in the form of Peer Guidance Teams to serve as channels for sustained education of members of the various trade associations to comply with the dictates of Ghana’s TLAS under the VPA.
By the end of the project, six Peer Guidance Training teams, with a membership of five per team were established while a total 1,187 employees and employers of SMFEs were trained on Ghana’s Legality Assurance System, Advocacy.
It said a Communication Facility valued at GHâ‚µ 45,000 was established at the Sokoban Wood Village at Kumasi to sustain education and facilitate information sharing on the agreement and other forestry issues.
It said the project also developed training manuals to support the continual education of employees and employers of SMFEs including ‘Understanding Ghana’s Timber Legality Assurance System’, ‘Sourcing Wood Legally in Ghana’ and ‘A guide for Effective Advocacy for Trade Associations of Small and Medium Forest Enterprises’.