Section 4 of the Timber Resource Management Act, sub-section (2) states that “no timber rights shall be granted in respect of: (a) land with forest plantations; (b) land with timber grown or owned by any individual group; (c) land subject to alienation holding; or (d) lands with farms, without the authorization in writing of the individual, group or owner concerned”, which indicates that consultation must be undertaken. The Timber Resource Management Regulations set out a list of stakeholders, including District Assembly members, traditional council representatives and local landowners and farmers, to participate in the field inspection to determine the suitability of the land for the granting of timber rights.
In practice, these legal requirements are often not adhered to. They have not been promoted publicly and therefore some local stakeholders – especially farmers – are unaware of their rights. When forested areas are proposed for allocation of timber rights, it also tends to be assumed that representatives of traditional authorities (chiefs mostly) will have consulted their people. There is little or no public discussion or real consultation on whether an area should be allocated or not – it remains a purely technical discussion. In addition, there are no requirements for consultation on timber utilisation permits, which are meant to apply to harvesting a specified number of trees for social or community uses, but have been granted to companies on large tracts of forests.
|Title||a. Timber Resources Management Regulations, 1998 (LI 1649)
Timber Resources Management Act, 1997