Most of the world’s total wood removals from forests and trees are used for energy purposes. Local communities in developing countries largely depend on forests for their energy needs. In Ghana, charcoal provides about 64% of the energy for cooking and heating in most urban homes and constitutes a major source of livelihood for people in rural areas endowed with woodlands suitable for charcoal production. Charcoal production is predominant in the northern and transitional zones of Ghana. Taxes and levies on the charcoal trade are important sources of revenue for District Assemblies, Forestry Commission, and traditional authorities (chiefs) in production areas.
The charcoal industry has been identified as a key driver of deforestation in Ghana as standing trees are used in the carbonization process. The industry is also affected by a lot of issues ranging from land and tree tenure rights and access, environmental and health impacts from combustion, mode of transportation, taxation, and marketing.
A radical change in the policies of the forest and energy sector is needed to ensure a positive climate for investment in wood energy. Investments are particularly needed in rural areas where fuelwood and charcoal remain the main source of energy and livelihood. Such actions must be targeted at sustaining community livelihoods and at the same time, protect the environment.
With support from GIZ, Tropenbos Ghana seeks to restore 200ha of natural forests and agroforestry sites in five (5) selected communities in Bono East Region. The project will also build capacities among target groups, such as private landowners, communities and charcoal producer associations in the Kintampo and Atebubu-Amanten landscapes to prepare management plans and monitoring systems, and implement rehabilitation measures that will ensure planted trees are sustained for energy production while mitigating the effects of climate change. Charcoal producer groups and associations will be trained to utilize efficient carbonization technologies to increase production and income.
2020 - 2022