The Timber Resource Management Regulations Legislative Instrument 1649 indicates that before an off-reserve area is given out for timber rights, written consent and agreement of the owners is required. Procedures for obtaining consent and processes for resolving conflicting interests over the land are established in the regulations. In forest reserve areas, consultation is only carried out with them to sign a social responsibility agreement with the company, which is a pre-requisite for the issuing of timber utilization contracts.
In practice, the provisions in the regulations for consent are sometimes not followed and not enough notice is given in newspapers or District Assembly notice boards of plans to grant timber rights. Concerns have been raised by Forest Watch Ghana (FWG) over the granting of administrative permits between 2009 and 2011 on forested land without prior consent of communities or any public information on the planned activities. FWG wrote a memorandum to the parliamentary select committee on environment and natural resources, which highlighted the negative impact of such practices. It is hoped that the new forest policy will support greater participation in decisions about who owns the forest and decides to cut it down. The legality definition in the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union also requires open tendering for all timber rights, which would go some way towards raising awareness of planned activities.
|Title||Timber Resource Management Regulations|