Forestry commission of Ghana launches online property mark registration and electronic wood tracking system

Forestry commission of Ghana launches online property mark registration and electronic wood tracking system

The Forestry Commission recently launched two online applications, the Digitalized Property Mark Registration and Renewal (e-property mark registration) and the Electronic Wood Tracking System.

The e-property mark registration is a web-based application that automates the process of property mark registration and renewal while the electronic wood tracking system allows the tracking of wood from the time of harvest to the time of final disposal.

Launching the applications, the sector minister, Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, said President Akufo-Addo’s vision to promote socio-economic development through digitisation cuts across all aspects of national life and, so, the Forestry Commission could not be left out.“The technological infrastructure for accessing the international timber market and attracting the requisite investment demand a level of sophistication that yesterday’s systems and norms can no longer respond to. We must, therefore, innovate constantly, and keep pace with the technological advancements necessary to access the international market,” the minister said.

Prior to the introduction of this e-property mark registration, persons who seek to register or renew their property marks will have to move from the district offices to the regional offices and finally to the head office of the Forestry Commission in Accra to complete the registration, a process that lasted approximately two months.

With the introduction of this technology, loggers can register and/or renew their property marks in a day, without moving to the various offices.

Mr Jinapor added that the electronic wood tracking system, which was developed with the help of the British government and will be powered by solar, forms part of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade initiative, which seeks to ensure that only legal wood is traded on the market.

The West African Climate Change and Natural Resource Advisor of the British High Commission, who represented the High Commissioner, pledged the commitment of the British government to partner with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to effectively protect and manage the forest resources of the country.

The minister also said the ministry is considering the establishment of a National Reclamation Fund to support the programme. He said the capital-intensive nature of the exercise, requires the setting aside of a dedicated fund to carry out the exercise.

And to prevent future land degradation, Mr Jinapor said the government is now implementing a concurrent reclamation policy, where miners will be required to reclaim and revegetate any place they excavate before they move on.

He said although the law enjoins small-scale miners to reclaim and revegetate lands within one month after their operations, most small-scale miners refuse to comply with this law, resulting in the many degraded lands across the country.

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