Tropenbos International Ghana, a Forestry -oriented non-profit organization has organized a forum at Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana on Sustainable charcoal...
Tropenbos International Ghana, a Forestry -oriented non-profit organization has organized a forum at Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana on Sustainable charcoal production as part of the Ax Project, which was being implemented in partnership with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), University of Ghana and the University of Copenhagen.
The Ax project, which spans 2015-2019, seeks to established the nexus of Environmental challenges in the Charcoal production value chain and make recommendations on the way forward for sustainability.
The forum, supported by DANIDA, brought together research scientists, academia, EPA officials, and officers from the Energy Commission and Charcoal Producers and other stakeholders in supply chain .
The forum, geared towards setting a sustained agenda that will in turn influence policy decisions in regulating the activities of charcoal producers.
The Director of the Tropenbos International Ghana, Mrs Mercy Owusu-Ansah said the forum was to give the participants the opportunity to learn new information on charcoal production for consideration especially in research and policy dialogue.
“We supported charcoal producers to acquire skills and knowledge and other aspects of issues affecting their business”, she stated.
The Program Officer of “Ax project ” at Tropenbos International Ghana, Asante Joseph indicated that the initiative would bring improvement to the charcoal business to enhance access to market chain and how the society and the government could help to improve the charcoal business in a sustainable manner that will not have negative impact on the environment .
“When adequate education is given on charcoal, it would be easy for the laws to be implemented without any hindrance”, he said.
He stressed that their partnership with other stakeholders were focused mainly on how to improve, regulate and manage charcoal production across the country.
He revealed that about 600000 metric tons of charcoal were produced in 2016 out of which Kintampo produced 22.05 percent followed by Bole with 14.23 percent while Atebubu produced 12.14 maiking the three Districts leading charcoal producing in Ghana with Brong Ahafo as the major producing region.
The Techiman Area Head of the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA ), Mr Anthony Duah explained that plans were far advanced in registering charcoal producers who have not registered towards sustainable charcoal production in Ghana.
He said regulatory requirements for charcoal production in Ghana is in the offing and therefore urged charcoal producers to form co-operative groups to assist the EPA official to identify them with the groups.
Mr Duah bemoaned the few numbers of charcoal dealers complying with the laid down procedures in all their undertakings which he cautioned will no longer be countenance.
Some Smallholder charcoal producers lamented that regulatory requirements on charcoal production by EPA, Forestry Commission , Energy Commission and other state agencies are favourable to large-scale charcoal producers only.
According to them, as a small holder or subsistence producers, they fell short of meeting such regulatory requirements.
Stakeholders therefore demanded for a regulatory regime that would address the needs of individual small holder or subsistence producers such that they can comply with regulations for mutual benefits .