Working Group is implementing a project with financial support from the European Union to build the capacity of forest stakeholders at Bibiani, Sefwi Wiawso and Juaboso districts in the Western Region on the EU-Ghana Voluntary Partnership Agreement, EU timber regulation and the domestic market policy.
WG organized a day’s workshop to train the leaders of the project committees in the Bibiani, Juaboso and Sefwi Wiawso forest districts to enhance their knowledge and understanding on the VPA and enable them to effectively communicate and disseminate information on VPA related issue to the other members of the community. It is expected that local project committees leader will play an active part in informing and mobilizing communities to monitor, report and arrest illegal chainsaw operators, facilitate community-level discussions on the VPA and FLEGT actions to mitigate infringement on forest laws.
The one day workshop was held at the Queen Elizabeth Restaurant Conference Hall on the 30th of July 2014. It was conducted through presentations and discussions.
Mr. Agyemang-Prempeh Koranteng, FLEGT programme and complain, manager, TVD of the forestry commission of Ghana presented on VPA and Forest Governance. He explained governance as the capacity of government to achieve effectiveness taking into account different societal powers, power structures as well as changing and increasingly complex societal context.
He mentioned that the government is not solely responsible for the public domain of the functioning of the country but that is the responsibility of the society as a whole. According to Mr. Koranteng, the participation of other key stakeholders such as non-state actors like the local community and media is very important for good governance.
Further, he mentioned that Accountability, transparency, inclusiveness, coordination, and capacity are good principles upon which good governance revolves. He took time to explain each of the principles to the participants and how the community could play a role in ensuring that these principles are adhered to.
Additionally, he gave an exposition on how the community could create news on forest governance reform. Mr. Koranteng again took the participants through the process of building an agenda on a social issue and also how to frame a story.
The trainers are now equipped with adequate knowledge and information on forestry issues and the project. They are now aware of their roles to play in the management of the nation’s forest.