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Golden Tulip to host 1st Timber Industry Awards

By James Harry Obeng

 

The Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi will come November 29, next month, play host to the first-ever Timber Industry Awards, exactly a century after the introduction of formal forestry practice in the country.

 

Themed “100 years of Forestry; Projecting Excellence in a complex and challenging industry”, the awards will honour key players and stakeholders who, among other things, have contributed to the growth and development of the Timber Trade and Industry in the country.

 

The Forestry Commission of Ghana (FCG), the organizers, will also use the event to take stock of its activities, achievements and challenges as well as map out strategies for the future.

 

The categories to be awarded are the Overall Best Exporter, Best Buyer (tertiary products), Best Shipping Company, Best Bank (banking services), the Most Innovative Company, the Most Integrated Company and, the Best Exporter (mouldings).  

 

The rest are the Best Supplier to the Domestic Market, Best Producer (logs), Best Exporter (LUS products), Best Exporter (furniture parts), Best Exporter (plywood), Best Exporter (veneers), and Best Exporter (lumber KD), amongst other individual and institutional awards.

 

At a Press launch in Accra, last Thursday, to brief the media about the ensuing event, the Executive Director of the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission of Ghana (FCG), Alhaji Alhassan Attah, said the criteria to select the right awardees to ensure transparency and fairness in the process have been set to enable the jury come out with the right choice for the awards.

 

He said the institution of the awards was imperative to honour companies and individuals who have shown commitment to quality and outstanding leadership in the industry, adding “it will provide a basis to encourage high standard for best practices in the industry and help enhance the image of the Forestry sector, particularly the timber industry.”

 

He said despite challenges confronting the FCG in pursuit of its assigned responsibilities, it had still paid its due towards national development.

 

Alhaji Attah noted that “the industry has stayed as major foreign exchange earner and a source of employment in the economy over the last century, with figures rising and averaging around 180 million US dollars annually”.

 

In a speech read on her behalf, the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines, Ms Esther Obeng Dapaah, said government has over the last seven years shown commitment to ensuring an effective management and control of forest resources.

 

As a result, she said, government has initialed between the country and the European Union the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to ensure that only legal timber was granted access to the EU markets.

 

“The VPA will further ensure that Ghana’s forest laws are consistent, understandable, enforceable and supportive of basic sustainable forest management principles”, she said, adding that it would also help the country to develop credible technical and administrative systems that ensured that harvesting operations conform to relevant laws “and to track timber from the point of harvest to the point of export|”.

 

She said the importance of the VPA as a vital step in eliminating illegal logging and export of wood products from illegitimate sources was colossal, saying the EU would be working with government to minimize and eventually eliminate problems caused by illegal logging.

 

Ms Dapaah implored the forestry industry to be highly competitive and conform to standards to make the intention of government to make the country the hub of tertiary processing of wood products in the sub region a reality.

 

She described the institution of the Timber Awards as a timely initiative to bolster the image of the industry and pledged her ministry’s support towards ensuring a successful event in Kumasi, come November 29.

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October 8, 2008 - Posted by | News

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