A day’s stakeholders validation workshop to identify ways of strengthening women’s role for development in the nation’s timber value chain, has been held at Fumesua in the Ejisu Municipality of Ashanti Region.
It sought to discuss guidelines and measures of coming up with social safeguards to protect women along the value chain likely to be impacted negatively by the implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.
Mr Joseph Asante, Project Officer of Tropenbos-Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization, and organizers of the workshop, said the cornerstone of this Plan was the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).
The agreement seeks to provide a legal framework and compliance monitoring system aimed at ensuring that all timber imports into the European Union (EU) market from Ghana, has been legally acquired, harvested and exported.
Mr Asante said women have limited avenues for participation along the timber value chain as compared to men and it is essential that gender-responsive issues were integrated into the FLEGT/VPA implementation processes.
The NGO, he said, would continue to engage stakeholders to help broaden the VPA programmes and discussions among actors within the informal sector to prepare them for implementation.
He said the workshop was sponsored by some international organizations, including the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and European Union (EU) with the agenda to also discuss with participants their findings on a research on the role of women along the timber value chain.
Ms Mercy Owusu-Ansah, Director of Tropenbos-Ghana, said it is important for stakeholders to realize the full economic value of forests and ensure that the sector contributed effectively to poverty alleviation.