Between 1990 and 2000, Ghana lost about 135,000 hectares of forest annually. From 2001 to 2021, Ghana lost 1.4 million hectares of tree cover, representing a 20% decrease in tree cover since 2000. Global Forest Watch (GFW) reports that Ghana lost 60% of its primary rainforest in 2018, which was the highest in the world.
One third of Ghana’s land area of 238,500 km2 was forest at the start of the 1900s but now forest covers only 35.1% of the country. Forest resources are important in Ghana because most rural livelihoods are dependent on it for food and ecological balance.
The causes of the loss of forest cover are many. They include human activities such as logging, illegal mining and unsustainable farming practices. The current government of Ghana introduced the Youth in Afforestation programme in 2018. It has employed over 40,000 recruits since 2018.
They are engaged in planting, tending, weeding, and thinning trees. But there are serious concerns about the sustainability of these jobs, because sustainable funding wasn’t planned.
As per the initial plan, the youths engaged in the programme were to be employed for a period of two years, with the possibility of an extension contingent on satisfactory outcomes.
SOURCE: THE CONVERSATION