Photo Credit: tBD

Creation of a Community-Managed Forest in Western Ghana and Potential Trans-Border Reserve between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire

08.07.2016

Conservation Problem

Historically, the Western Region of Ghana was once dense rainforest and for centuries, its rural people lived in harmony with the environment, making their livelihood from the sustainable harvest of forest products. However, in the past 50 years, Ghana has lost over 90% of its primary rainforest due to extensive agriculture of rubber, palm oil and cocoa, excessive logging and mining as well as human population encroachment.

With only a few fragmented areas of rainforest left, Ghana's unique primate populations are left with increasingly fewer places to hide and extensive bush meat hunting is taking a serious toll on the ever dwindling primate and wildlife populations. Illegal mining, logging and bush meat hunting is rampant in both protected areas and community owned lands and neither the government nor the communities currently have the capacity to halt these illegal activities.

Project Activities

The project is helping to protect some of West Africa's most endangered primates through the transformation of the 2,500 hectare community-owned Kwabre Rainforest into a federated Community Resource Management Area. Inhabitants of the rural communities surrounding the virgin rainforest are developing the skills to sustainably manage and protect their lands within the context of their traditional tribal practices.

The project is training members of communities to form Rainforest Protection Teams who will combat the illegal activities in their rainforest and plant tree seedlings in areas that have been degraded by illegal lumbering. The project is also helping the communities establish indigenous tree plantations in degraded areas of their communities to provide wood for building and cooking, thus reducing the harvesting of trees from the virgin rainforest.

Project Outcomes

Improved habitat and reduced hunting of one of the world's last remaining populations of Roloway Monkeys.

Improved management by of the Kwabre Rainforest by the local people through the creation of a federated Community Resource Management Area and enhancement of traditional sustainable resource management practices.

Reduction of illegal lumbering, mining and bush meat hunting in the Kwabre Rainforest through the implementation of Community Forest Protection Teams.

Reduction of tree harvesting in the Kwabre Rainforest through the establishment of 12 indigenous tree plantations.

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