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In response to WRI’s report, the Ghanaian government issued a statement through its Forestry Commission denying the findings. 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. The corruption is so widespread, however, that it remains to be seen on whether the Ghanahian authorities will stop timber-related crimes anytime soon.[1]. Bush fires, set to clear land and aided by the dry harmattan season from November to March, have consumed large swaths of forest. By comparison, wood products represented 11 percent of earnings and 5.5 percent of volume in 1985. The most important was severe deforestation. However, WRI has no editorial influence over Mongabay content. Human settlement in Tano-Offin has also contributed to the destruction of its forest. Editor’s note: This story was powered by Places to Watch, a Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative designed to quickly identify concerning forest loss around the world and catalyze further investigation of these areas. While mining has not yet started, infrastructure development is underway, with roads to prospective mining sites currently under construction. [1], Until the 1980s, forestry production suffered because of the overvalued cedi and deterioration of the transportation infrastructure. Deforestation generally results from inefficient agricultural practices, woodfuel consumption (firewood and charcoal), indiscriminate logging, bushfires and mining activities. Illegal timber harvesting isn’t the only activity driving deforestation in Tano-Offin. Here, illegal logging is also underway. The cheap air-dried processing method was not satisfactory because air-dried wood tends to destabilize over time. Forestry practices, wildfires and, in … Most overseas demand is for kiln-dried products, and Ghanaian manufacturers lacked sufficient kilns to meet that demand. 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. Recent articles | Ghana news updates | XML Suggested reading - Books. 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. [1], The sector, however, faced several problems. Even in the early 1990s, scientists estimated 80 to 90 percent of the country’s original high canopy forest had been wiped out. 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. Cause Of Deforestation In Ghana. Between 1990 and 2000, Ghana lost an average of 135,000 hectares of forest per year; amounting to an average annual deforestation rate of … Between January and November 1994, exports amounted to 919,000 tons and earned U… The forestry sector of Ghana accounted for 4.2 percent of GDP in 1990; timber was the country's third largest foreign exchange earner. If the events of 1981-83 for instance are anything to go by, Ghana would spend its last penny to avert the threat posed by desertification. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. By the early 1990s, there were approximately 220 lumber processors in Ghana, but the industry operated under several constraints. A century ago, Ghana's tropical hardwood forest extended from about the middle of the country southward to the sea. However, some say these communities could also be a key to saving Ghana’s forest reserves. If you value this objective and impact-driven journalism, please consider becoming a sustaining member. Foreign investment incentives were not so attractive in this sector as in others, for example, mining. “That is why we are going to resist the mining operation in the forest — to protect our rivers.”. Again, the development of a National Climate Change Adaptation Stragegy has been agreed on as a trigger under the Natural Resources and Environmental Governance Programme in Ghana. An analysis of satellite data published earlier this year by U.S.-based World Resource Institute (WRI), found Ghana experienced the biggest relative increase in primary forest loss of all tropical countries last year. Biomass and land use carbon emissions data for Ghana "Tree cover threshold" is used for defining the tree cover area. Part of Tano-Offin is also rich in bauxite, which has prompted the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Corporation to begin establishing mining operations in the reserve. The oceans are becoming more acidic with an increased supply of carbon dioxide from deforestation and burning fossil fuels. According to the report, the loss of Ghana’s primary forest cover jumped 60 percent from 2017 to 2018 – almost entirely from its protected areas. The chainsaw operator told Mongabay that loggers routinely bribed members of the task force to look the other way. At this rate of logging, Ghana’s forests would disappear in the next ten years and Ghana would become a net importer of wood (Forest Watch Ghana 2004). It was also to share and discuss outcomes of a … Half a dozen communities are situated deep inside the reserve, of which Kyekyewere is the largest. For example, 75% includes only areas with more than 75% tree cover, whereas 10% includes all areas with more than 10% tree cover. Community leader Agya Bomba blamed the now-defunct Ayum Timber Company for the increase in illegal logging in Bia Tano. Every day, Mongabay reporters bring you news from nature’s frontline. “This is the challenge confronting us here,” said the guard, who asked not to be named. 12 In 1993 timber and wood products earnings totaled US$140 million against a targeted level of US$130 million. The second forest guard told Mongabay that most of the owners of the sawmills had no permit to work in the reserve, but continued to log its forests. 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. According to Abu-Juam, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is also engaging members of the public, particularly those living around the reserves, to fight illegal logging. Compounding the problem of soil loss is the relatively poor soil in which most rain forests grow. [1], Instead, the government hoped to increase sales of wood products to replace earnings from logs. Deforestation can lead to many environmental problems, aside from the obvious loss of trees. Ghana has an "estimated" population of 29.4 million … Introduct [1] The forestry sector was given a large boost in 1986, with a US$24 million timber rehabilitation credit, which financed imports of logging equipment. He added that a special court had been established, with trained local forestry officials acting as prosecutors to deal with cases involving illegal operators in the reserves. In 1993 timber and wood products earnings totaled US$140 million against a targeted level of US$130 million. It is assessed that more than 90 percent of the high forest they have been enrolled since the late 1940s with current rates of deforestation being 5% for possible later use what’s more, 2% in reservations (Tamakloe, North Dakota). 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. Barry Callebaut has a goal of becoming carbon positive by 2025, meaning it will store more carbon than it emits. 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. Log production declined by 66 percent during 1970- 81 and sawed timber by 47 percent. Ghana is, indeed, no exception to this state of affairs. Just about 20.7% of Ghana's total land area remains arable (land good for farming). “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. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. 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. Hopefully it comes as no great surprise to you that deforestation is a major problem in many areas of the world, both it terms of preserving biodiversity and preventing ... Ghana . 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. The multi-stakeholder Cocoa & Forests Initiative is an attempt at addressing the problems. Acquah said the project had yielded positive results, including driving many illegal loggers from reserves and the confiscation of illegal timber. He referred to one incident in which the Forestry Commission stopped buses loaded with illegal timber from a forest reserve and arrested the perpetrators. As a consequence, log production rose 65 percent in 1984-87, and export revenues rose 665 percent in 1983-88. Upon hearing that the loggers had official permission, the guard allowed them to proceed. Moreover, nearly half the country was covered with forests, which included 680 species of trees and several varieties of mahoganies. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data. Residents have expressed concern about the impacts mining might have on the forest, among them Nana Oppong Dinkyine. Exports fell from US$130 million in 1973 to US$15 million in 1983, and four nationalized firms went bankrupt during that period. 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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. Problem Statement The deforestation rate has been surprisingly high in Ghana. 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. The Forest Resource Management Project, part of the economic recovery program (ERP), was initiated in 1988, and in 1989 the government banned log exports of eighteen species. 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. “Public officials are deeply involved in the illegal activities.”. 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. factors. 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. 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. In the mid-1980s, the government embarked on a US$36 million rehabilitation project to boost the company's production. At the Bediakokrom community just east of Bia Tano, dozens of sawmills can be seen just outside the reserve. 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. Deforestation in Ghana is a research-based analytical study that explains the disconnect between the declared deforestation policy intentions and their outcomes in Ghana. Between January and November 1994, exports amounted to 919,000 tons and earned US$212 million. 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. However, even these are no longer immune to the advance of deforestation, with many hit hard by a surge of forest loss that began in April. It examines the driving forces behind and evaluates policy options for addressing the problem of biodiversity loss. The most notable case involved African Timber and Plywood, once Ghana's largest exporter of round logs. 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. 2.1.1 Deforestation in GhanaNumerous legitimate concerns have been raised about the devastating environmental impact of extensive destruction of forests. Abu-Juam said the government was doing its best to fight back against illegal deforestation. But its primary forest has all but vanished, with what remains generally relegated to reserves scattered throughout the country’s southern third. Written by Senyo Kofi Agbleze & Freda Yamorti Gbande, TFF Ambassadors from Ghana. “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. 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. He told Mongabay that deforestation is already affecting water resources. 2701 Words11 Pages. Forests cover about one-third of Ghana's total area, with commercial forestry concentrated in the southern parts of Ghana. It refuted the 60 percent figure, saying instead that Ghana’s primary forest loss had increased by 31 percent between 2017 and 2018. 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. Soil can be swept away because tree roots are no longer there to bind the soil together. Image by Delphine Bruyere via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). These challenges include waste management, illegal mining, logging, deforestation, noise, water and air pollution. 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. Forestry, deforestation and biodiversity in Ghana This study seeks to examine the causes and consequences of forest loss and therefore biodiversity loss in Ghana. However, Satelligence’s report differs in one significant aspect from WRI’s: it says cocoa is not the main driver of deforestation in Ghana, instead laying blame on logging, mining, fire, and industrial agricultural expansion for other kinds of crops. However, there is no medical facility or electricity, and most community members depend on farming to survive. A stakeholders’ workshop to discuss measures to address deforestation and boost cocoa production in the Ahafo Region has been held at Goaso. Our EIN or tax ID is 45-3714703. The focus of the analysis is the probable effect of the Act on the timber industry.2 Through a discussion of the Act's salient provisions on costs Secondly, Ghana’s economy relies heavily on climate sensitive sectors mainly on The fall in the proportion of volume sales accounted for by logs was accompanied by a dramatic fall in their share in earnings, from 50-60 percent in the mid-1980s to 23 percent in 1990.[1]. This has seemingly created a situation of impunity, with trucks carrying timber in broad daylight from the reserve to the city of Kumasi a common sight, even though the Forestry Commission has set up checkpoints along the route. 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. To end deforestation, Barry Callebaut maps cocoa farms in its direct supply chain within 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of protected forest areas in the Ivory Coast, Ghana … See Pictures. Sources on the ground say that illegal logging done at the hands of Ghanaian nationals as well as foreigners, especially Chinese nationals, appears to be the main cause of deforestation in the reserve. 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. “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. Another forest guard who also spoke to Mongabay on condition of anonymity said that state officials were also giving out concessions in the reserve to their cronies. Other difficulties include lack of expertise at technological and managerial levels. Furthermore, infrastructure in the Western Region where lumber processing is located continued to be relatively neglected compared with mining and cocoa production regions. Ghana is no exception to the continuous environmental degradation as a result of deforestation fuelled by her rapid Bia Tano Forest Reserve is located about 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of Tano-Offin. When land is deforested, plant and animal diversity can be lost. A publication by data analytics company Satelligence, however, affirmed WRI’s findings that Ghana deforestation did indeed experience a 60 percent jump. However, he said the program suffered a setback as illegal operators impersonated whistle-blowers to send forestry officials on a wild goose chase in one area while they logged in another. When confronted by the forest guard manning the checkpoint, one of the loggers said a forestry officer from Goaso district had allowed them to cut down trees in the reserve. However, efforts to protect forests are often stymied. To end deforestation, Barry Callebaut maps cocoa farms in its direct supply chain within 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of protected forest areas in the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Cameroon. Most of this wood has been cut. “FoE then collaborate[s] with the Forestry Commission for verification of the alerts and then take action.”. KUMASI, Ghana — The West African country of Ghana is known for having rich natural resources including vast tracts of rainforest. He said that a concession once leased by the company had since been invaded by illegal loggers, including former company staff. Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. Ghana’s last remaining tracts of primary forest can only be found within areas granted official protection. But sources say that Forestry Commission officials aren’t just allowing logging here — they’re actively participating in it. Ghana’s last remaining tracts of primary forest can only be found within areas granted official protection. 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. Disclaimer: Mongabay has a funding partnership with World Resources Institute (WRI), which administers Global Forest Watch. However, even these are no longer immune to the advance of deforestation, with many hit hard by a surge of forest loss that began in April. He also blamed deforestation on forest-dependent communities, saying “their continuous expansion is destructive to the reserves in which they live.”. However, that hasn’t stopped logging and other illegal activities from deforesting them. This is an extremely important initiative because, in Ghana, approximately 15 per cent of deforestation is being caused by cocoa farming, as it’s our main export, while almost 800,000 farming families are involved with the cocoa trade. “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. WRI found that while mining and logging were partly to blame for Ghana’s deforestation, the expansion of cocoa farms was the main culprit. Ghana has a total land area of about 238,53 squared kilometers (about 11,000sq.km covered by water) with about 539km of coastline. problem of deforestation in Ghana-the reason for the new legislation-and after an overview the Act, the article examines key issues arising out of the new legislation. “Because of the low number of the officials of the Forestry Commission, we still have high incidence of chainsawing both outside and inside the forest reserves,” he said. These reserves are under official protection. 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. Mongabay observed loggers transporting timber from Bia Tano through a checkpoint immediately west of the reserve. 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 … Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis, Alleged gov’t-linked land grabs threaten Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains, Fueled by impunity, invasions surge in Brazil’s Indigenous lands, Chinese demand and domestic instability are wiping out Senegal’s last forests, Solomon Islands environmental defender faces life sentence for arson charge, ‘Tamper with nature, and everyone suffers’: Q&A with ecologist Enric Sala, New paper highlights spread of organized crime from global fisheries, Study: Chinese ‘dark fleets’ illegally defying sanctions by fishing in North Korean waters, Game changer? He said this success could be scaled up and urged the involvement of all forest communities. These were handed over to officials from the Forestry Commission, which has established a task force to prevent illegal logging. 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Natural resources including vast tracts of primary forest can only be found within areas granted official protection officials ’...

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