Tropenbos Ghana works towards the sustainable management of Ghana’s High Forests and restoration of deforested and/or degraded areas. In recent times, we have expanded our operations to the transition zone of Ghana. We currently work in the Juabeso-Bia, Sefwi-Wiawso, Amansie West, Asante Akim, and Atebubu-Kintampo landscapes. We engage local communities, small and medium forest enterprises, smallholder cocoa farmers, artisanal and small-scale miners, actors along the charcoal commodity chain, the government at all levels, and the private sector in our work.
The Juabeso-Bia and Sefwi-Wiawso landscapes in the Western North region of Ghana are mainly biodiversity hotspots and cocoa landscapes. The Bia National Park and several forest reserves are located in these landscapes. Expansion of cocoa farms into forested lands (both within and outside forest reserves) has been increasing in the past three decades in these areas. Next to that, illegal logging, illegal surface mining, and slash and burn farming are also accelerating forest degradation in these landscapes. The Juabeso-Bia and Sefwi-Wiawso landscapes are part of Ghana’s Hotspot Intervention Areas (HIA). The interventions are targeted at halting deforestation and restoring degraded forests in cocoa-growing areas.
In Amansie West and Asante Akim landscapes, illegal artisanal and small-scale mining has destroyed fertile agricultural lands, water bodies, and forests. While mining imperils biodiversity and the environment, it is also a source of revenue for rural communities and government. Mining is therefore a ‘necessary evil’ in these landscapes. The best option is to allow the co-existence of mining and other land-uses such as agricultural activities through appropriate planning and implementation of activities that minimize their adverse impact. Tropenbos Ghana seeks to support selected communities in these landscapes to achieve harmonized and diversified land-use in these landscapes.
The Atebubu-Kintampo landscape is the hub of charcoal production in Ghana. 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 and marketing. Sustainable wood energy value chains are needed in these landscapes to sustain livelihoods while safeguarding forests.