The West African state of Ghana has a forest cover of 9.6 million hectares or 42% of the land area. The latter is comparatively high in tropical Africa. The forests belong to the Guineo-Conglean phytogeographical region and contain numerous valuable timber species. Forest products rank third among commodity exports and are a prominent part of the Ghanaian economy. However, there has been a considerable loss of forests in the last 100 years and the rate of deforestation at present is among the highest in Africa. The rapid pace of clearance of forests is due to such direct agents as conversion to agriculture, shifting cultivation, and fuelwood cutting, while population pressure, unclear forest property rights, commercial logging, as well as market and government failures are the major indirect factors. In order to check deforestation, Ghana is expected to generate political will to implement forest policies which support the sustainable forest management. Intersectoral socio-economic factors have a strong bearing on deforestation and therefore addressing them is recommended in order to assure the long-term survival and utilization of Ghanaian forests.
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- Deforestation and Sustainable Forestry Challenge in Ghana
- Springer Netherlands