Ghana

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Population

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Country size

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Forest cover

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Overview

Ghana’s remaining primary forest is heavily fragmented and found principally in the south of the country. These forest areas still suffer from high rates of clearance from artisanal logging, cocoa plantations and mining. In 2020, the rate of primary forest loss was the highest in the country’s history according to Global Forest Watch, while a further 101,000 ha were lost in 2021. 

Agricultural production and particularly cocoa for the international market are a major driver of deforestation in Ghana. Looming supply chain laws in Europe, the UK and the US aim to eliminate deforestation from their imports of cocoa and other commodities. The challenge for countries like Ghana is to harness these laws in a way that supports both their development and their forest protection goals. 

Logging also plays a part in forest loss and degradation. Although progress has been made in tackling illegal logging, it remains a considerable problem both in the domestic market and in export supply chains. Meanwhile, logging companies often fail to fulfil their agreed social responsibilities to communities affected by logging concessions, leaving people without the land, resources or rights they were promised. 

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Our Impacts

Since 2015, partners and local communities in Ghana have used the ForestLink Real Time Monitoring system to combat illegal logging, environmental destruction and human rights abuses. RFUK’s ForestLink technology connects communities and law enforcement to carry out real time monitoring of tropical forests, and put power back into the hands of those who call them home. 

With our support, local partners have trained over 75 communities in eight regions, who have sent thousands of alerts on illegal activity in their lands. Recent impacts of this work include: 

  • Arrests of illegal loggers
  • Commitment of Ghana’s Forestry Commission to react to community alerts registered in the ForestLink platform, with a view to integrate these data into Ghana’s Timber Legality System in the near future
  • Renegotiation of social responsibility agreements (SRAs) with logging companies for the benefit of local communities
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Projects and Campaigns

ForestLink

Real-time community-based monitoring is a tool that connects local people with national law enforcement in an effort to stop illegal logging and deforestation.

FEATURED publications

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Roads to Ruin: the emerging impacts of infrastructure development in Congo Basin forests

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Final evaluation: Embedding community Real Time Monitoring (RTM) to sustain livelihoods and forests in West and Central Africa

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Is REDD-readiness taking us in the right direction? Case studies from the Accra Caucus