The oceans are becoming more acidic with an increased supply of carbon dioxide from deforestation and burning fossil fuels. Log production declined by 66 percent during 1970- 81 and sawed timber by 47 percent. 2701 Words11 Pages. Anane Frempong, the political head, or “assemblyman,” in Ghanaian parlance, of the Kyekyewere electoral area that comprises Tano-Offin, told Mongabay that his outfit seized some 6,000 pieces of timber last year that were harvested illegally in the reserve. In response to WRI’s report, the Ghanaian government issued a statement through its Forestry Commission denying the findings. Dennis Acquah, project coordinator for FoE-Ghana, said the program has helped build capacity in communities living within forests to detect and report illegal activities as they’re happening by using a mobile phone app. By the early 1990s, there were approximately 220 lumber processors in Ghana, but the industry operated under several constraints. Ultimately, deforestation in Ghana is due to demographic and economic pressures, policy and institutional lapses, increased infrastructural developments and technological advances. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". This situation has forced the government to make difficult choices between desperately needed hard currency earnings and conservation. Deforestation in Ghana is a research-based analytical study that explains the disconnect between the declared deforestation policy intentions and their outcomes in Ghana. However, efforts to protect forests are often stymied. See Pictures. Biomass and land use carbon emissions data for Ghana "Tree cover threshold" is used for defining the tree cover area. For example in the most widely used information by NGOs, only 6% of deforestation in cloudy areas like Ghana is detected on a real-time basis, if we add radar that can see through clouds that is hampering observation we can vastly improve the timeliness of the detection, and in terms of biggest risk areas we have only started to look at the problem ,” he says. 11 But it has also resulted in deforestation elsewhere, including in Cameroon, Indonesia and Peru. Places to Watch draws on a combination of near-real-time satellite data, automated algorithms and field intelligence to identify new areas on a monthly basis. The government later extended the list and imposed high duties on other species, planning to phase out log and air-dried timber exports altogether by 1994. The biggest impact has been in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana where cocoa production is estimated to have been responsible for about one quarter of historical deforestation in Cote d’Ivoire and nearly 15 per cent in the high-forest zone of Ghana. “To mitigate this conflict, I will humbly appeal to the government of Ghana through the Forestry Commission to demarcate an area for farmland in the reserve to enable members of the community to have food to eat, as we have nowhere to call our town apart from the Kyekyewere community,” Frempong said. Here, illegal logging is also underway. A new report released by the Cocoa Barometer analysing trends within the cocoa sector has highlighted the need for government and industry stakeholders as well as farmers and civil society organisations, to outline policies to end deforestation and human rights abuses within the … Introduct However, Abu-Juam said that although the government of Ghana was making an effort to improve the monitoring mechanisms in the reserves, those involved in the illegal activity often find ways to outwit these measures. Ghana could earn tens of millions of dollars for reducing its deforestation rate under a carbon-trading initiative proposed by a coalition of developing countries and under discussion this week at U.N. climate talks in Nairobi, Kenya. Other difficulties include lack of expertise at technological and managerial levels. The most important was severe deforestation. It was also to share and discuss outcomes of a … Bia Tano Forest Reserve is located about 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of Tano-Offin. Ghana is, indeed, no exception to this state of affairs. He said forest guards intimidated and harassed them whenever they farmed in the forest, alleging that last year they forced a resident of the community to swallow a dry plantain leaf, which Frempong says led to the man’s death a few days later. But sources say that Forestry Commission officials aren’t just allowing logging here — they’re actively participating in it. Half a dozen communities are situated deep inside the reserve, of which Kyekyewere is the largest. While mining has not yet started, infrastructure development is underway, with roads to prospective mining sites currently under construction. He said that a concession once leased by the company had since been invaded by illegal loggers, including former company staff. Since 1983 forestry has benefited from more than US$120 million in investments and has undergone substantial changes, resulting in doubled earnings between 1985 and 1990. Deforestation in Ghana In Ghana, the reason behind the cutting down of trees is usually for charcoal, pasture for livestock, farms, urban or industrial purposes. Ghana has an "estimated" population of 29.4 million … , The sector, however, faced several problems. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data. 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In 1993 timber and wood products earnings totaled US$140 million against a targeted level of US$130 million. Illegal logging in Ghana’s forest reserves was confirmed by Musah Abu-Juam, technical director in charge of forestry at Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, who said the practice was ongoing both inside and outside protected areas. This essay seeks to elaborate briefly on some of the main environmental challenges … By comparison, wood products represented 11 percent of earnings and 5.5 percent of volume in 1985. For example, 75% includes only areas with more than 75% tree cover, whereas 10% includes all areas with more than 10% tree cover. If you value this objective and impact-driven journalism, please consider becoming a sustaining member. “Public officials are deeply involved in the illegal activities.”. Deforestation in Ghana: Government's incentives and policies Ghana has one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa and the world, at 2% per annum. Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. In its statement, the Forestry Commission said the WRI report was based on a faulty methodology as well as a misunderstanding of current controlled agricultural practices in Ghana. “This is the challenge confronting us here,” said the guard, who asked not to be named. Deforestation can lead to many environmental problems, aside from the obvious loss of trees. Just about 20.7% of Ghana's total land area remains arable (land good for farming). Improvements in the processing sector caused wood products (excluding lumber) to rise to about 20 percent of export earnings in 1991, accounting for 6.9 percent of volume exports. Ghana is still confronted with serious and complex environmental challenges, despite the various interventions by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the last 40 years. The buyer showed up with a truck to haul off the logs. Bradt Travel Guide to Ghana; Map of Ghana A stakeholders’ workshop to discuss measures to address deforestation and boost cocoa production in the Ahafo Region has been held at Goaso. Mongabay observed loggers transporting timber from Bia Tano through a checkpoint immediately west of the reserve. Furthermore, infrastructure in the Western Region where lumber processing is located continued to be relatively neglected compared with mining and cocoa production regions. A century ago, Ghana's tropical hardwood forest extended from about the middle of the country southward to the sea. Recent articles | Ghana news updates | XML Suggested reading - Books. Mongabay reached out to Ghana’s Forestry Commission, but requests for comment were not answered by the time this story was published. Stretching more than 20 kilometers (12 miles) along a bank of hills in the Ashanti region of southern Ghana, Tano-Offin Forest Reserve has lost more than 16 percent of its old-growth forest since 2001, according to satellite data from the University of Maryland. These reserves are under official protection. To help tackle deforestation issues in Ghana, we, Senyo Kofi Agbleze and Freda Yamorti Gbande, put together an initiative known as the Green Cast Project.With our role as TFF Ambassadors, we want to help create awareness about deforestation as an issue leading to potential food insecurity in rural communities. Most of this wood has been cut. Several areas of t… Friends of the Earth (FoE) Ghana, an NGO, has initiated a program called “community-based real-time monitoring” to try and clamp down on the country’s rampant illegal logging. “With the project, FoE-Ghana selected some members of the forest fringe communities, trained them to be conversant with forest laws and mobile systems applications … to collect and transmit quality data, which can be in a form of video, audio or picture, and transmit the data onto [a] centralized database,” Acquah said. The report indicated that Africa has the second highest rate of deforestation worldwide (with 3.4 million hectares of forest loss annually).The situation is not any different in Ghana where forest has been under pressure from human activities over the last century. Banner image: Young common chimpanzees ponder their future. Compounding the problem of soil loss is the relatively poor soil in which most rain forests grow. In 1992 the government began investigating the activities of hundreds of companies, both foreign and local, that were alleged to have entered into a range of illegal dealings including smuggling, fraudulent invoicing, violation of local currency regulations, corruption, bribery, and nonpayment of royalties. “The government of Ghana has reached very far with the EU to make the agreement work and it will soon issue the forest law enforcement, governance and trade license for the agreement to take [effect],” Abu-Juam told Mongabay. Secondly, Ghana’s economy relies heavily on climate sensitive sectors mainly on Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Ghana, a developing country, is facing so many environmental challenges despite the policies put in place by the various institutions to help curb this problem. Abu-Juam said the governments of Ghana and the European Union had entered into an agreement that would allow only legal wood to enter the EU market, and had established the Legality Assurance System, which tracks each piece of timber from where it is cut to where it is sold. However, that hasn’t stopped logging and other illegal activities from deforesting them. Furthermore, the old Ghana Timber Marketing Board was disbanded and replaced by two bodies, the Timber Export Development Board—responsible for marketing and pricing, and the Forest Products Inspection Bureau—responsible for monitoring contracts, maintaining quality standards, grading products, and acting as a watchdog for illegal transactions. Upon hearing that the loggers had official permission, the guard allowed them to proceed. Community leader Agya Bomba blamed the now-defunct Ayum Timber Company for the increase in illegal logging in Bia Tano. However, some say these communities could also be a key to saving Ghana’s forest reserves. When land is deforested, plant and animal diversity can be lost. Frempong, the Kyekyewere assemblyman, told Mongabay that the community had existed in the forest for more than 200 years, and that its residents had no other place to go. , Until the 1980s, forestry production suffered because of the overvalued cedi and deterioration of the transportation infrastructure. With a population of more than 1,000, Kyekyewere has some trappings of a modern town, including a school that provides education from the kindergarten level to junior high. The forestry sector of Ghana accounted for 4.2 percent of GDP in 1990; timber was the country's third largest foreign exchange earner. According to the World Cocoa Foundation, 2.3 million hectares of rainforest were cleared in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana to make way for cocoa farms between 1988 and 2007. Between 1990 and 2000, Ghana lost an average of 135,000 hectares of forest per year; amounting to an average annual deforestation rate of … These challenges include waste management, illegal mining, logging, deforestation, noise, water and air pollution. He also mentioned a recent arrest made when Forestry Commission officials discovered loggers were transporting illegal wood from a reserve by hiding it in coffins. 2.1.1 Deforestation in GhanaNumerous legitimate concerns have been raised about the devastating environmental impact of extensive destruction of forests. Acidic Oceans. Government figures showed that one cubic meter of lumber and plywood was worth more than twice as much as the same amount of logs; veneers earned five times as much; and other products, such as furniture and floorings, earned six times the price of an equivalent volume of logs. Image by Delphine Bruyere via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). Scientist, economist, environmentalist and many others have deliberated that the prevailing patterns of deforestation are bound to wreak havoc on the earth as the home for mankind … Exports fell from US$130 million in 1973 to US$15 million in 1983, and four nationalized firms went bankrupt during that period. Mongabay is a U.S.-based non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform. “The continuous depletion of the forest is seriously having a negative effect on our livelihood as our water bodies are being dried up and with the amount of rainfall dropping every year in this community, we are likely to face acute water shortage in the near future,” Dinkyine said. “If you have come to look for trees in this forest then forget it because we have cut them all,” said a chainsaw operator who was illegally felling trees in the reserve to sell to a local buyer. The multi-stakeholder Cocoa & Forests Initiative is an attempt at addressing the problems. , Instead, the government hoped to increase sales of wood products to replace earnings from logs. Several areas of the reserve are completely devoid of large trees, while the roar of chainsaws is ever-present, operated with impunity. Abu-Juam said the government was doing its best to fight back against illegal deforestation. Moreover, nearly half the country was covered with forests, which included 680 species of trees and several varieties of mahoganies. He cited a case in which illegal operators tried fooling forest guards by entering a reserve during the night, cutting down trees, and making them into semi-finished doors in the forest before transporting them out before daybreak. Disclaimer: Mongabay has a funding partnership with World Resources Institute (WRI), which administers Global Forest Watch. 12 Forests cover about one-third of Ghana's total area, with commercial forestry concentrated in the southern parts of Ghana. The forestry sector of Ghana accounted for 4.2 percent of GDP in 1990; timber was the country's third largest foreign exchange earner. A publication by data analytics company Satelligence, however, affirmed WRI’s findings that Ghana deforestation did indeed experience a 60 percent jump. 75% tree cover reflects a dense canopy. It’s estimated that deforestation is responsible for around 20% of greenhouse gas emissions and 1.5 billion tons of carbon is released every year by tropical deforestation. WRI found that while mining and logging were partly to blame for Ghana’s deforestation, the expansion of cocoa farms was the main culprit. 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