In spite of being banned in 1998, chainsaw milling continues to be a major supplier of Ghana"s domestic lumber needs. Chainsaw milling helps to sustain rural economies and livelihoods, and banning it fuels illegal practices and conflict. Chainsaw milling challenges Ghana"s ambitions to develop a legal and sustainable forestry sector. Discussions on chainsaw milling have become an important part of the EC-Ghana Voluntary Partnership Agreement. The country cannot fully meet the legality assurance aspect of the agreement without addressing chainsaw milling. Addressing the issue in an equitable way will reduce conflicts in the forest sector, diminish forest degradation and support rural livelihoods.
This synthesis report examines the evolution of the policy, legal and institutional framework of chainsaw milling in Ghana. Based on new research and a review of recent studies, it provides insights into the social, political, legal and economic factors that drive chainsaw milling and assesses its impacts on livelihoods, forests and the timber sector. The report recommends a number of measures to more effectively regulate the practice to meet stakeholders" needs and help Ghana achieve sustainable forest management goals.