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Ghana - 09 June, 2023
The past few decades have witnessed a decline in forest and tree cover in Ghana. Particularly within the last two decades, the country has experienced a net change of -573ha (-5.1%) in forest cover; twice higher than global average of -2.4% within the same period. The high rate of deforestation has led to habitat loss and species extinction, and soil degradation resulting in low/poor crop yield. Deforestation and forest degradation is also contributing to climate change effects and destabilizing water cycle leading to disappearance of local streams, frequent weather and climatic variability including droughts, interruptions of frequency and intensity of rains resulting into farm floods. The country’s loss in forest cover is mainly driven by illegal logging, illegal farming, illegal/unsustainable mining, wildfires, etc.
Green Ghana Project adds to existing national afforestation/reforestation efforts to restore the lost forest cover of Ghana, and to contribute to the global effort to mitigate climate change. Though a laudable initiative, it is important reflect on key issues that can affect or be affected positively by Green Ghana Initiative towards improving forest and tree cover in Ghana.
As we mark the third edition of the Green Ghana Project, Tropenbos Ghana is of the view that, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources through the Forestry Commission should as a matter of urgency:
1. Improve technical assistance in tree planting and management especially to people who plant on Green Ghana day. This will minimize destruction of trees planted at wrong places or areas which has potential for redevelopment in the near future.
2. Develop a robust and readily accessible system for registration of trees in order to enhance, and sustain farmers interest in tree planting and management with guaranteed ownership.
3. Enhance measures aimed at minimizing threats to forest and trees including illegal farming, illegal/unsustainable mining, wildfires, etc.
4. Equally commit to, and support other national strategic options aimed at reforestation/afforestation.