To help reduce the rate of deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana, the country under a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union, has resorted to trade only in legal wood on the international and domestic markets. This has called for ongoing policy reforms on the domestic market to make it VPA compliant. With the ongoing reforms in the forestry sector towards successful VPA implementation, it is important to have all actors in the sector engaging in the policy dialogue and being able to put their interest and concerns unto the policy table.
Most of the domestic (timber) market actors are in the category of small to medium enterprises, who are of the informal type and largely dispersed. In that it is mostly difficult to reach them with information and they are not able to get their interest unto national agenda because they usually lack the technical skills to do so. Also, they are not well positioned to understand and meaningfully engage with the policy process to ensure that their concerns/interests are adequately captured by the reforms.
For this to happen, the capacities of SMFEs and/or their advocates need to be built to have good advocacy skills to engage effectively in policy dialogue. It is for this reason that this manual has been developed as a simple handbook for people working with SMFEs, and more especially, leaders of SMFE associations, to learn relevant advocacy skills to enable them to carry out the task demanded of them under the VPA as well as CSO’s working in the forestry sector who most often carry out advocacy on behalf of SMFEs.
This manual was published under an EU funded project, “Supporting Intermediaries with Information and Guidance to Comply with the Legality Assurance System (LAS) and Engage in Policy Advocacy on the Domestic Market Reform”.