The Forestry Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-FORIG), has identified 28 lesser used timber species on the market without adequate technical information for their efficient use.
Their technological properties, according to FORIG, are not known and may be used improperly and generate a lot of waste.
Prof. Daniel A. Ofori, Director of CSIR-FORIG disclosed this at a seminar to share findings of a survey conducted by his outfit on emerging timber species with stakeholders in forestry and industry at Fumesua.
A total of 56 wood species were identified during the survey which was conducted in selected timber markets in the Ashanti Region and the Techiman Market in the Bono East Region but the technical information on 28 of them was very scanty.
The survey sought to ascertain timber species on the domestic timber markets and estimate their volumes and values as well as monthly and annual stock and sales.
The seminar was, therefore, to share the findings with participants drawn from the Forestry Commission (FC), academia, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and industry.
It was also to serve as a common platform to discuss the way forward towards better utilization of the limited Ghanaian timber resources and sustainable forest management.
Prof. Ofori said it was important to engage stakeholders in the timber industry to brainstorm on what could be done collectively on the findings and also come up with the necessary policies regarding these emerging timber species.
He said CSIR-FORIG about 2.5 decades ago came up with 35 lesser used timber species and matched up to their technological properties with the traditional timber tree species for efficient utilization, adding that they were currently on the market attracting millions of dollars annually.
One of the core mandates of the Institute, he noted, was to undertake forest, forest products, and related research, disseminate and commercialize research outputs and services.
To be able to achieve this, it undertakes demand-driven research, builds capacity, and promotes the application of technologies for sustainable management of forest resources for the benefit of society, he stated.
Virtually all the participants underlined the need for stakeholders to work together to ensure the efficient use of the emerging timber species for the mutual benefit of players in the timber industry.
They resolved to share information and even proposed a joint working group that would meet at least twice a year to discuss pertinent issues that could help achieve the full potential of the industry.