Working Group on Forest Certification

Ghana Forest Management Certification Standard

The Standard Since 1997 Ghana has been developing a national certification programme for forestry. The programme of development started in the form of a project: the Ghana Forest Management Certification Systems Project - a project of Ghanaian Government with technical and financial assistanceprovided by the European Union (EU contract B7-620/97-/4VIII/FOR) and the Government of the Netherlands (GH 008701).

The standards attempt to define good forest practice in Ghana. The process by which these standards were developed involved the consultation and active collaboration of a broad range of stakeholders. A set of draft standards – The Quality Management of the Forests of Ghana: Forest Standards, Principles and Specification - were finalised and published in March 1999. Since 1994, the Government of Ghana and its principal technical and executive agencies have modified the way that forests have been managed.

Ghana has substantially restructured its executive agencies in order to support the new management system and to ensure the delivery of quality forest management. The structure and content of the standards have been strongly influenced by the new forest management system and revised institutional framework. These standards do not seek to replace or substantially redefine the management system that Ghana has developed. Indeed, they seek to reinforce the management system and ensure its application in the field.

The Checklist The current draft standards (Version 5) are presented in the form of a checklist that auditors and managers can use in the field - the Ghana Forest Management Certification Standards and Checklist (hereafter referred to as GFMCS, Version 5).It is applicable to all forest types and sizes in Ghana. The checklist is derived directly from the original standards but presents the principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers in a logical and progressive sequence from which it should be relatively easy to derive an objective and unequivocal decision on the quality of the forest management that has been assessed.

The current draft- Version 5 The current GFMCS is an output of the Working Group on Forest Certification Ghana, in fulfilment of one of its basic function of routine review of the GFMCS. The review of the earlier version (Version 4) has therefore been carried out to reflect new knowledge and changed public values and to ensure that the standards continues to contribute to the processes of improving systems and programmes for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in Ghana.