Restoring Ghana’s forests
Title: Forest Landscape Restoration through a Sustainable Wood Energy Value Chain
Commissioned by: Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, nukleare Sicherheit und Verbraucherschutz (BMUV)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources Ghana
Overall term: 2019 bis 2023
In Ghana, biomass plays a crucial role as an energy source, making up 39 per cent of energy consumption. Some 30 million cubic metres of firewood and charcoal is consumed for this annually. An estimated 70,000 hectares of forest is cleared every year for charcoal production alone. In the cities, demand for charcoal is now rising because it has a greater energy content than firewood. By 2050, the demand for charcoal is expected to rise to 2.8 million tonnes as a result of population growth, especially in cities, and economic development.
Charcoal is produced by harvesting hardwood tree varieties in the natural forests, particularly in Northern and Central Ghana. The high demand for charcoal and firewood is therefore one of the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana. Moreover, the ownership and usage rights for the natural forests are frequently unclear and uncontrolled illegal logging for charcoal production is now also threatening valuable and rare tree varieties.
Sustainable production and efficient use of energy wood have improved. Forests in selected regions of Ghana are preserved and restored.
The project, which was commissioned by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), works with the Ghanaian Ministry for Land and Natural Resources and other partner institutions. The stakeholders restore forest landscapes together with farmers and organised producer groups from ten communities.
The project implements measures in six fields of activity:
1. Reforestation of 300 hectares of degraded areas for sustainable energy wood production.
2. Rehabilitation of 700 hectares of degraded natural forest.
3. Dissemination of energy-efficient technologies for the production and use of charcoal, such as efficient charcoal piles and cooking stoves.
4. Development of recommendations on the adaptation of energy and climate-related strategies to include the areas of sustainable wood energy production, restoration of natural forests and efficient use of energy wood.
5. Completion of two feasibility studies in West African countries in order to use the approach developed in Ghana there as well. Lessons learned in the project are also incorporated into regional exchange platforms.
6. Provision of policy advice to incorporate the project results into the national processes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 2030 Agenda.
The rehabilitation of 700 hectares of degraded natural forest is being conducted together with IUCN NL (Dutch national committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature), IUCN Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana and A Rocha Ghana.
Last update: January 2023