THE Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Ms Esther Obeng Dapaah, yesterday inaugurated a seven-member Timber Rights Evaluation Committee (TREK) in Accra.
TREK was established by Section Five of the Timber Resources Management Act (Act 547) to among other functions ensure strict compliance of the Act in the productive exploitation of timber resources in the country.
The members of the committee include Prof. Nii Ashie Kotey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission (FC), as chairman; and the Manager of the Timber Rights Administration Unit (TRAU) of the FC, Mr Charles Dei-Amoah, as secretary of the committee.
Other members are the acting Executive Director of the Forestry Services Division, Mr M. O. Owusu Abebrese; the Chief Lands Officer of the Lands Commission, Mr J. O. Sarpong, and the National President of the Ghana Institute of Foresters, Dr Kwame Asamoah Adam.
Inaugurating the committee, Ms Dapaah outlined some duties of the committee under the Act, which included the evaluation of timber utilisation contracts, ensuring a competitive and transparent procedure for qualified bidders and the consideration of appeals.
She charged Prof. Kotey to make available to the committee logistics for the effective discharge of functions and urged the members to discharge their duties with a sense of transparency, particularly in the granting of timber harvesting rights, to restore the confidence of all parties in the forestry sector.
Prof. Kotey pledged that the committee would do its utmost best to discharge its functions under the law.
A Deputy Minister of the MLFM, Mr Andrew Adjei-Yeboah, repeated the call on the committee to be sincere and transparent in the granting of timber rights.
DAILY GRAPHIC, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2007