Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Ghana environment chief ticked off for harassing loggers for the wrong reason

Ghana has precious little tropical rainforest left: by some accounts, barely 20 percent of the rainforest that was standing at the time of independence, 51 years ago (80,000 square kilometres), is still there. Which makes a moratorium on logging of what's left even more urgent. When I visited in February this year, the big forest giants – often standing like lonely old sentinels in a wilderness of patchy agriculture – were still being chopped down along the road up from Akosombo to Wli, as this photo shows, and the trucks full of logs were coming down the road in the other direction. So this story from the Ghanaian Chronicle, confusing even though it is, is depressing: even in a country as relatively well-managed and on the up as Ghana, where an Environmental Monitoring Foundation exists, is screwed by corruption and short-term gain. There's more background from 2006, including discussion of Kakum National Park here (paragraph about Ghana near the bottom of the doc). To find out more, and get involved in halting the decimation of Ghana's remaining forests, contact ForestWatch Ghana, who act as an umbrella group for NGOs involved in the issue.

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