Despite all the attention the problem of illegal logging has recently attracted, the empirical base remains remarkably weak in many countries including Ghana. Using both official reported figures and actual harvest figures estimated from domestic and export consumption statistics, the annual average illegal logging for the period 2000–2011 among the formal sector in Ghana is estimated at 0.78 million m3 or 104% of the legal harvest. The results indicate that illegal logging was much more prevalent in the forest reserves than outside forest reserves, and among the traditionally endangered timber species more than the lesser known timber species. The implications of these findings on forest law compliance, enforcement, and the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the European Community and Ghana are discussed and recommendations proffered.
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Vol. 17 • No. 2