A second training on TVD legality verification audits has been organised in Accra for selected civil society representatives. The training which was organised by Civic is aimed at building the capacity of CSO representatives to be able to effectively participate as observers in TVD legality verification audits.
One critical element of Ghana’s Legality Assurance System (GhLAS) is verification as it contributes greatly to international opinion of the transparency, integrity and credibility or otherwise of Ghana’s FLEGT licensing system. The TVD verification protocols recognise the participation of non-state actors including CSOs as observers on TVD legality verification audits. However, this opportunity only exists on paper and no measures have been put in place to operationalise the idea. The excuse has always been that resources available are inadequate and that potential observers may not be sufficiently conversant with TVD legality verification standards to effectively participate as observers.
It is in order to address these concerns that Civic Response for the second time organised this capacity building exercise for selected representatives of CSOs. A first training was organised for the selected CSO representatives last year (2017). The objective is to institutionalise the participation of CSO actors as observers in TVD legality verification audits with a view to enhancing transparency, integrity and credibility of the GhLAS, as well as the respect for community rights enshrined in the VPA legality definition.
The 15 CSO representatives who took part in the 2nd training were taken through an overview of FLEGT and Ghana’s VPA, Ghana’s Legality Assurance System, and how to perform audits.
At the end of the capacity building, participants opined that the training was very educative and would prove useful in subsequent observer missions.
“I am now equipped with the necessary skills to undertake an observation work. This training has improved the way I will conduct my work when undertaking monitoring and evaluations of my project work,” Eli Amemo, a CSO observer said.
“The training gave me much understanding of some things I observed on the previous observer missions. It will impact my subsequent observations as I now understand the various ways in which TVD verification is done and ways in which evidences are taken,” Jerry Asare, another CSO observer stated.
The two-day training workshop was held under the auspices Civil Society-led Independent Forest Monitoring (CSIFM) in Ghana Project, which is being implemented by Civic Response through the FAO FLEGT Programme with funding from European Union, the Swedish International Cooperation Agency and the United Kingdom Department of International Development.
By: Jemima Opare-Henaku│Civic Response