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.