Ghana is almost losing all its forest cover due to neglect and lack of policy direction to protect the sector, an international pro-forestry organisation, Proforest Africa, has said.
According to the group, the forest cover in Ghana has almost diminished while the country’s forest reserve was also depleting faster.
“Ghana loses nearly 3% of its forest each year and almost everything outside of forest reserves,” Proforest Africa Director, Abraham Baffoe, revealed at the ongoing Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) 2020 annual meeting in Accra.
Explaining the depletion of the country’s forest, Mr Baffoe indicated that government over the years decided to protect only forest reserves and not forest cover, which means leaving areas outside forest reserves for other land use options such as agriculture etc.
“At that time, we had 8 million hectares of forest but just about 1.8 million were reserved for permanent forestry,” he said.
He continued, “What has happened over the years is that we have lost almost everything outside forest reserve, thus all the six million hectares to the extent that some of the reserve (1.8million hectares) have been converted to cocoa farming.”
“We no longer have up to 1 million hectares which are in good forest reserve and that’s the challenge,” Mr Baffoe added.
According to Proforest, its goal is to improve forest cover outside forest reserve through agroforestry and other tools that will increase the carbon stock of those areas.
The TFA 2020 meeting is to provide a common platform for governments and forest actors as well as private sector to address commodity-driven deforestation, an issue that has risen in global prominence since many major food and consumer goods companies committed to ending deforestation in key supply chains in 2010.
“Forests are essential for reaching our climate target. Nature is 37% per cent of the solution and forests play a major part in that. They are also essential vehicles to achieving the sustainable development goals –they protect the world’s poor, protect against climate risk and are essential for food security. Deforestation-free commodity supply chains are the supply chains of the future,” said Director, Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, Marco Albani.
The TFA 2020 Annual General Assembly will end on 17 May with the Fourth Regional Meeting of the Africa Palm Oil Initiative (APOI). The meeting is convened by the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 in collaboration with the Government of Ghana and Proforest.
Story: News Desk