Ghana Tops In Forest Loss – Report
There is more cause for worry as Ghana is said to have recorded 60 percent rise in forest loss between 2017 and 2018, according to the Global Forest Watch .
The forest losses in Ghana were more than twice that of neighbouring Ivory Coase; which lost 26 percent.
According to Global Watch, countries like Ghana are catching up with countries that have had long-standing struggles to protect forest cover.
Global Forest Watch notes that in 2002, only Brazil and Indonesia made up 71 percent of tropical primary forest loss.
But now, the two only accounted for 46 percent of primary rainforest loss in 2018 as rates in other countries saw rises.
Global Forest Watch is an online platform that provides data and tools for real-time monitoring of forests using cutting-edge technology.
The losses in Ghana have been attributed in part to illegal mining and though the platform says “it is difficult to attribute the exact location and amount of forest loss, expansion of cocoa farms” caused losses too.
Ghana, along with some other countries and companies had signed onto the Cocoa & Forests Initiative which aims to end deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa supply chain.
The initiative was launched in 2017 and is chaired by the governments of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Colombia.
It has now also been signed by 35 companies.
In the past year, the spotlight was turned onto the Atewa forest, a hub of globally significant biodiversity, after Ghana signed a $2 billion deal with the Sinohydro Group Limited.
The Sinohydro Group Limited of China will provide the infrastructure of the government's choice in exchange for Ghana's refined bauxite. Ghana's bauxite reserve is estimated at $460 billion.
Bauxite mining is noted as a significantly destructive extractive industry as the upland ecosystem will first be cleared of all vegetation and rocks blasted.
This would compromise the watershed at Atewa that provides water for 5 million Ghanaians.
Groups like the Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape held series of protests and media engagements stressing that mining in the Atewa forest will have a more devastating effect on citizens.
Taking the concerns into consideration, the government has promised to mine the bauxite responsibly .
“I can assure them that it will not be the normal thing that happens across the African continent. It is going to be done in a more responsible and sustainable way. They will enter a mining site and people will not even realize that mining is being done,” then Lands and Natural Resources Minister Peter Amewu said in 2018.