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Stop thinking about money and protect the environment-Bishop Akolgo advises Ghana’s ruling elite


Former  Executive Director of Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), Bishop Akolgo has warned the ruling  elite in Ghana to  show serious commitment in the fight against illegal logging of rosewood.

The ruling elite he said  has failed the country, reminding them that the use of rosewood as a  funding mechanism for politics will backfire one day if care is not taken.

Bishop Akolgo advised the ruling  elite to sit back and do self- introspections on the long time dangers of illegal logging of rosewood.

He cited Sudan, Senegal and DRC as countries where rebels  used rosewood proceeds as their sources of funding  to fight the state.

‘Just as they are using rosewood as a funding mechanism for the politics, others, including extremist are also looking to use the same mechanism and it will come to bit all of us; In Senegal, Sudan, DRC and others where rosewood and chacol are some of the rebels funding mechanism. I advise the ruling elite to sit back and take a second look to address the menace of illegal logging’, Bishop Akolgo stated.

The ruling elite he said  should not always be thinking about money but  rather think about the ordinary citizens living in what he called fragile environment.

Bishop Akolgo who is also a consultant and technical advisor on rosewood to star Ghana Foundation gave the warning when he presented key issues on the illegal trade of rosewood in Ghana, at a day’s stakeholders dialogue in Tamale.
The dialogue was on the theme: ‘Accountability of key actors in the illegal Rosewood trade on Northern Ghana’.
Bishop Akolga urged citizens and CSOs to demand from political parties commitment to ending rosewood menace  when mount platforms to seek their mandate.
Rosewood he observed were under siege and all efforts must put in place to protect it.

Bishop Akolgo said the rosewood were  used for chacol and fire wood but with the high demand  internationally, it’s illegal logging reached an alarming proportion.

Bishop Akolgo said Chinese business people and their local collaborators in Ghana have become so powerful that locals have given up the fight.

Bishop Akolgo recounted how  the locals are  given GHC  1,000 for a container of  rosewood worth over 55 000 dollars.

Communities he added are powerless because of powerful groups and individuals.

He mentioned political parties, Ministry of lands and forestry, forestry commission, party footsoldiers, MMDCES as jobs for the boys, some local chiefs and youth associations who Bishop Akolgo said are the collaborators of the loggers which must be targeted.

He suggested an upgrade of the status of rosewood to economic tree. Bishop Akolgo further suggested that research institutions to begin restock rosewood to make it sustainable.
Bishop Akolgo said the various business organizations must find ways of   adding value to rosewood to improve its economic value in the country which can be use for different types of products.
All the tick forest areas  Northern, Upper East, Upper West and other regions in northern Ghana are becoming

Executive Director of Star-Ghana foundation, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko Amidu attributed the continue illegal logging of rosewood to ineffectivenss of Ghana’s laws.

Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko called for joint up approach by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) , Chiefs and the citizens to fight illegal cutting down of rosewood.

The multi-stakeholder approach he noted will lead to action of both government and the community members.
Convenor of Baobab Market, a group made of CSOs and academicians Alhaji Osman Abdel Rahman couldn’t understand why with all police barriers on Ghana’s road, the loggers transport rosewood out of regions.
Alhaji Osman who is also the Executive Director of Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) raised the issue of political commitment in the fight against illegal logging.

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