EU Ghana signs.jpThe Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Ghana and EU was signed in a ceremony in Brussels on November 20, 2009. Ghana is in the process of developing the relevant systems to implement the provisions of the agreement. A Wood Tracking System (WTS) and the protocols for assessing legal compliance are key elements under development.

From the 27th - 29th of January 2010, Ghana hosted the first Joint Monitoring Review Mechanism (JMRM)  meeting in Accra, since then, seven more JMRM sessions have been held. This monitoring mechanism is established under the Agreement to facilitate the implementation of the VPA, provide recommendations for capacity building and assess the social, economic, and environmental impacts of the Agreement.

About Ghana's VPA

24370410146 2d12b651f3 c1The VPA, proposed in the EU-FLEGT action plan are voluntary, bilateral agreements between producing countries (FLEGT Partner Countries) and the EU. The agreement sets out the commitments and actions of both parties to tackle illegal logging. In 2003, the Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines formed a VPA Steering Committee to provide strategic leadership for the VPA process as well as advice the Government of Ghana on the approach to the negotiations. The VPA steering committee is a multi-stakholder body called M-SIC with representation drawn from the government sector, Timber Industry and Civil Society.

Inauguration of the Reconstituted Timber Validation Committee (TVC)

The Timber Validation Committee (TVC) was reconstituted in March 2018 by the sector Minister as provided for in L.I. 2254 of 2017. The formal inauguration however took place on April 13, 2018. The inaugural ceremony for the 11-member TVC took place at the Conference room of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. The swearing-in  ceremony was performed by the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio who administered the oath of office for the TVC members on behalf of the sector Minister, Hon. John-Peter Amewu. In a speech read on behalf of the sector Minister, the TVC was reminded of its responsibility to provide watch-dog services in order to safeguard the principles of transparency, independence and credibility in the administration of the Ghana Timber Legality Assurance System (GhLAS) through effective complaints management with the aim of ensuring continuous improvement and good governance.

The swearing-in ceremony was witnessed by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Professor Patrick Agbesinyale together with a number of other senior officials at the Ministry. The pioneer TVC successfully ended its three-year tenure in April, 2017.

Below is the full membership list of the reconstituted TVC members:

Name                                                              Position                              Institution

Mr. Oscar Vulor                                             Chairman                             Private Legal Practitioner

Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie                          Member                               Forestry Commission

Mr. Musah Abu-Juam                                   Member                               Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources

Mr. Chris Beeko                                             Member                               Forestry Commission

Obrempong N. Krampah XI                        Member                               National House of Chiefs

Mr. Francis Aboagye Nyarko                        Member                              Ghana Police Service

Mr. Alex Dadzie                                               Member                              Ghana Timber Association

His Lordship Justice P. Baffoe                    Member                              Judicial Service

Mr. Mark Ofori Asante                                     Member                              Trades Union Congress

Mr. Ena K. Blege                                              Member                              Ghana Revenue Authority

Mr. Kofi Afreh Boakye                                      Member                              Non-Governmental Organization

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Inauguration of the Timber Validation Committee