The Rainforest Foundation UK is excited to launch our first ever project in Ghana. On 27th and 29th of April 2016, our real-time forest monitoring (RTM) project was officially launched in the Nkawie and Goaso Forest Districts in Ghana, respectively. Representatives from government agencies, participating communities and civil society organisations gathered to learn more about the project, which is being coordinated by our local partner, Friends of the Earth Ghana (FoE-Gh).
Despite having a relatively strong legal framework for forest management, Ghana’s forests are being lost at a rate of 2% per year due to both legal and illegal forest activities. With the support of our purpose-built monitoring tools, local stakeholders such as forest fringe communities have an important role to play in detecting and reporting illegal activities contributing to deforestation.
Staff from the Ghanaian government’s Forest Services Division (FSD) expressed confidence in the project’s potential benefits in helping to minimise illegal forest activities. The Deputy Ashanti Regional Manager of the FSD, Mr. Isaac Noble Eshun, said: “Improving the participation of local people in the monitoring and reporting of unlawful forest activities is an effective way of preserving the forest.”
The project aims to establish a memorandum of understanding with Ghana’s Forestry Commission for community-based monitoring to help improve forest law enforcement for the benefit of local communities.
FoE-Gh’s RTM Project Coordinator, Mr. Enoch Gyamfi Ampadu, was excited about the opportunities RTM had to offer: “Empowering the communities through training and the use of technology will enable them to hold logging companies to account for their actions and, thereby, ensure transparency in their operations.”