BRUSSELS / ACCRA – The EU wanted to prevent further deforestation around the world with a new regulation on supply chains in the timber trade. But in Ghana it has the opposite effect.

The timber trade is a million-dollar business for Ghana. Even though Ghana was once the most advanced on the continent in terms of timber logging regulations. It was one of the first countries to sign a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), which is supposed to guarantee the sustainability and legality of wood.

But in the past twenty years, Ghana has lost a large part of its forest area. According to a recent study, seventy per cent of the entire harvest in Ghana is being logged illegally. Due to the difficult economic situation, timber is an important source of income for Ghanaians and for many, one of the few job opportunities in the country. Ghana exports the raw materials, corporations from Western countries gladly accept them and reap billions in profits by exploiting the West-African country. Like in colonial times.

And why does this still happen today? Because of corruption on all sides. Even the new EU regulation which were planned to avoid this cannot help this and make life even harder for locals.

Photo credit: Mélanie Wenger

Team members

Katharina Finke

Katharina Finke is a German non-fiction book author and independent journalist.

Katharina Finke journalist author

Nadjet Cherigui

Nadjet Cherigui is a journalist based in Paris. 

Nadjet Cherigui journalist France

Mélanie Wenger

Mélanie Wenger is a French visual storyteller.

Mélanie Wenger

Alexandre Brutelle

Alexandre Brutelle is a foreign reporter and freelance investigative journalist.

Alexandre Brutelle
€50,000 allocated on 30/11/2022



  • Waldraub für Europas Konsum, Wochen Taz, pp.8-9, 27/01/2024

  • Bis zum letzten Baum, Wochen Taz, pp.8-9, 06/07/2024


  • Ghana
  • The EU

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