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Risk Score
56.9
Risk Profile
Higher Risk
Conflict State
No
Log Export Restriction
Yes
Other Timber Export Restrictions
Yes
Import Regulation
No
Legality Risks Click for details on legality risks

Ghana was one of the first countries to have signed a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union (EU) in 2009. Thirteen years later, Ghana is poised to become the first country in Africa to issue Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) timber licenses, thereby enabling all its licensed timber products to automatically meet EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) legality requirements, facilitating their entry into the EU market. While Ghana has made significant efforts to develop a national system to track and verify legality and control illegal timber imported into the country, a December 2020 independent assessment of all aspects of Ghana’s licensing system concluded that the system was not ready for FLEGT licensing, and some corrective actions were required.

Ghana will begin issuing FLEGT licenses when the timber legality assurance system has been successfully tested, and when Ghana and the EU are satisfied that it functions as described in the VPA. In Europe, a FLEGT licence denotes complete compliance with the EUTR for European importers, however, a FLEGT licence may not in and of itself guarantee compliance with timber import regulations in other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Lacey Act in the United States. This dashboard summarizes currently available information on the legality risks associated with sourcing timber from Ghana.

  • Ghana is in the process of developing a mandatory system to verify the legality of timber production and trade and is expected to become the first African nation to issue Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licenses.
  • Illegal logging is reportedly declining but the illegal harvest and trade, particularly of high value species, continues to be reported. 
  • NGO reports have also documented concerns related to the illegal harvest and trade in kosso mainly destined for China and Southeast Asian markets even though there is a government directive banning the harvest of kosso.
  • The illegal trade in high value species is reportedly facilitated by hierarchical corruption and weak enforcement of forest laws.
  • Enforcement is improving with on the ground audits suggesting high levels of legal compliance by logging companies. 

Read more by downloading the Ghana Timber Legality Risk Dashboard here.

Latest Updates Click for latest news from Ghana
April 29, 2022

Some residents of the Savannah Region have expressed worry and disappointment in the traditional authorities and government for allowing commercial charcoal business in the region despite the ban. The canker has resurfaced in the region after a ban was placed on the activities illegal logging, charcoal burning, fuelwood harvesting and small scale mining activities as part of measures geared toward preserving forest reserves as well as prevent economically viable trees from being destroyed.

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April 27, 2022

Illegal chainsaw operators engaged in felling of trees and extraction of natural resources are threatening the landscape and forest reserves of the Western Wildlife Corridor and the Northern Savannah Forest Zone.

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April 19, 2022

Thursday, March 31, 2022 will be recorded in the annals of Ghana’s forestry sector as one of its most remarkable days. On this day, the current Cabinet, at its 26th meeting, approved the conversion of 156 timber concessions and permits into Timber Utilisation Contracts (TUCs), introduced as a major policy reform in the forestry sector to provide for a competitive system of allocating timber resources.

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March 30, 2022

The Forestry Commission, through its surveillance task force, has arrested 55 illegal miners in the Atewa Forest Reserve over the last six months. Madam Joyce Ofori Kwafo, Head, Corporate Affairs and Media Relations, Forestry Commission, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said a total of 15 different operations carried out between October 2021 and March 2022 led to the arrest of the culprits.

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March 28, 2022

The Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape have called for a full investigation into the negligence and connivance of Forestry Commission staff at the Kyebi District Office in protecting the Atewa Forest. The Group, at a press conference, said illegal activities in the Atewa Forest had escalated in the past six months without any measures to protect and preserve the forest and its biodiversity.

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January 25, 2022

Ghana has for years remained a key exporter of timber. However, stakeholders have been struggling to deal with illegal felling of trees, which made timber exports from Ghana fall short of the European Union’s guidelines. In a bid to address the worrying situation and also improve revenue mobilization, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission have launched the digitalized property mark registration and renewal process and the Ghana electronic wood tracking system.

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January 16, 2022

The Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission has described illegal logging in forest reserves as a national security issue that calls for a holistic approach. John Allotey says the rampant issue, especially in Bono, Ahafo, and Western North corridors, threaten rich forest reserves and commission staff, especially forest guards.

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Publications Click for publications related to Ghana
While subsistence agriculture and logging still contribute to deforestation, commercial-scale agricultural expansion is now recognized as by far the single largest driver of deforestation worldwide and thus also of greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change. Several initiatives have quantified how much and where deforestation is driven by commercial agriculture, and even how much of this […]
Rising demand for commodities such as soy, beef, palm oil, cocoa, coffee, and rubber is driving tropical deforestation globally, half of which is estimated to be illegal. Governments in the UK, EU, and the USA are now aiming to develop regulatory approaches to ensure imported agricultural commodities are not being sourced from deforested lands, or at[…]
This report, by Ghanaian Law Firm Taylor Crabbe, details the legislative and institutional framework for the protection of human and labor rights, and specifically child labor, in Ghana. It concludes that there is an elaborate existing legislative and institutional framework for the protection of labor and human rights in Ghana, including detailed laws and policies […]
Key Resources
Click here for a collection of Forest Trends publications related to IDAT Risk, including the full set of Timber Legality Risk Country Dashboards.
Methodology
Click here to download the Methodology which includes information on data sources, the methodology used to create risk indicators, and a glossary of key terms.
Timber Data Tool
Click here to access the Global Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (ILAT) Risk assessment tool and to download the Forest Trends User Guide describing the functionality of the ILAT Risk Data Tool.
Export Restrictions
Click here to download a database of forest policy export restrictions.