Scenario and cost benefit analysis of proposed policy options for the supply of legal timber to the domestic market

Authors: Gene Birikorang, Emmanuel Marfo, Kyere Boateng and Beatrice Obiri-Darko

Under the VPA with the European Union, Ghana has made a commitment to ensure that legal timber is not only traded on the export market but on the domestic market as well. Therefore, Ghana is seriously looking for options for supplying legal timber to the domestic market. The EU is supporting the Government through the NREG Programme and a Tropenbos International Ghana led project to develop alternatives to illegal chainsaw milling through a multi-stakeholder dialogue process backed by scientific research. These initiatives have developed the following three policy directions as a first step towards formulating specific strategic options for dealing with the problem:

Sawmills to supply the domestic market with legal timber obtained from sustained yields;

Sawmills and artisanal millers1 supply the domestic market with legal timber obtained from sustained yields ;

Artisanal millers supply all lumber required by the domestic market while sawmills focus on export, in keeping with the legal timber framework.

However the current, stakeholder understanding of the costs and benefit implications of prospective intervening measures associated with these policy directions is scanty. Therefore this research was commissioned to provide a cost benefit analysis in order to inform policy decision on the most appropriate policy strategy.

This report was produced within the framework of the EU Chainsaw Milling Project “Supporting the integration of legal and legitimate domestic timber markets into Voluntary Partnership Agreements”. The project aims to find sustainable solutions to the problems associated with the production of lumber for local timber markets by involving all stakeholders in dialogue, information gathering and the development of alternatives to unsustainable chainsaw milling practices. In Ghana, the project is being carried out by Tropenbos International (TBI) in collaboration with the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and the Forestry Commission (FC).