A short video by FoE-Europe: people power showing a different world is possible and Friends of the Earth is making is happen.
Al Jazeera interviewed our Forest and Biodiversity Coordinator, Eric Lartey, on the alarming rates of forest loss in Ghana.
Discussion on the National Forestry Forum.
FoE-Ghana has participated in various discussions on forest issues in Ghana. Here are two discussions on Ghana TV with Eric Lartey, FoE-Ghana’s Programme Coordinator for Forests and Biodiversity.
The effects of deforestation on the environment
With the Director of Nature & Development Foundation (NDF), Mr. Mustapha Seidu and Mr. Eric Lartey of Friends of the Earth on GBC24’s iblogger programme.
Ghana’s forests have been devastated over the last century and little now remains. Logging (legal and illegal), agriculture, hunting (causing forest fires), deliberate forest destruction, infrastructural development and mining have been – and still are – the main causes of forest destruction. Forest fringe communities who rely on the forests’ resources for their subsistence and livelihood are alienated from forest protection, management and decision-making despite the important role they have played in managing off-reserve forests in the past.
These problems are exacerbated by the timber companies which don’t use harvested timber efficiently due to over-subsidisation of the sector and also their use of obsolete machinery. The companies also ignore the rights of communities, whose lives and livelihoods depend on the forest, resulting in conflict and social upheaval.
To overcome some of these problems, Friends of the Earth-Ghana (FoE-Ghana) and Friends of the Earth-Denmark (NOAH) established the Community-Based Action Project (CBA) (2008-2011). They worked with more than 40 local communities as well as other stakeholders in the Oda River and Nkrabea Forest Reserves to build capacities to protect and sustain the natural forest. The project has also improved the difficult relations between forest communities and forest management authorities, built the capacities of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and communities to negotiate with timber companies and ensure their rights to the forest are met, and enhanced the economic and social well-being of the communities.
The main aim of the project was to engage major forest reserve stakeholders and support forest fringe communities to enable sustainable forest management and ensure communities enjoy an equitable share of the benefits from the forests and the logging operations.
1. To build the capacity and skills of communities and CBOs to know their rights as enshrined in Ghana’s forest laws, to know their roles and responsibilities in sustainable forest management, and to ensure those rights and responsibilities are fulfilled;
2. To raise awareness at the regional and national levels about the importance of sustainable forest management and equitable forest benefit sharing.
3. To build the capacity and skills of Ghanaian NGOs for advocacy and campaigning towards sustainability in forest management.
The project is now completed, and this film shows what has been achieved and the many stakeholders who have been involved in the project.