The forests of Kwabre-Tanoé are the last remaining natural forest sanctuary in the country.
In 2015, 80% of the classified forest area is occupied by agricultural plots. In less than a century, the country has lost 90% of its natural forests.
The expansion of agricultural land and in particular the cultivation of cocoa, coffee and rubber are the main cause of deforestation.
The consumption of wood for energy, population pressure, mining and gold panning are also responsible.
This is why it is so important to save the little that remains of the original forest with its inhabitants, whose habitat is shrinking.
The Atewa forest is the last remaining natural forest sanctuary in the country.
Despite its declarations of good intentions, Ivory Coast does not seem ready to give up its position as the world’s leading cocoa producer. This would necessarily happen if it decided to massively reforest its forests and drive out the hundred thousand or so planter-growers who live and work there.
« Protecting environment is expensive. Doing nothing will cost much more » warns former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.
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With the Atewa Rainforest, Ghana has one of the greatest natural treasures in West Africa.
Its lush jungle with eight-metre high tree ferns, swampy landscapes and rivers are home to an exceptional diversity of rare animals and plants.
An area of 260 km2 has been declared a Nature Reserve to protect the unique biodiversity of the Atewa Forest.
Unfortunately, its subsoil is also rich in bauxite. And the Ghanaian government intends to exploit these deposits.
Because the status of Nature Reserve, unlike that of National Park, does not protect the Atewa Forest from mining.
« Our forests are being sold to mining companies and turned into open-pit mines, with no regard for the invaluable natural resources on which we depend » writes Daryl Bosu of the environmental NGO A Rocha Ghana.
The Atewa Mountain Forest provides five million people with clean drinking water from its springs.
It provides people with food, medicine, building materials, tools and clothing, and protects them from floods and drought.
In recent years, several multinational companies have obtained mining permits. “But everything is done behind closed doors,” laments Daryl Bosu. He fears that the government will one day present the Ghanaian population with a “fait accompli”.
Conducted by Noé and its local partner A Rocha Ghana, the project supported by Ciel d’Azur Labs in 2021 will contribute to the preservation of the Atewa forest by :
– strengthening community-based natural resource management organisations through the training and capacity building of village committees
– setting up community patrols to reduce illegal activities and protect endemic species, including endangered primates
– raising children’s awareness of environmental issues through the creation and distribution of an environmental manual in schools
– the planting of 35,000 trees with support for the establishment and maintenance of nurseries.
In 2020, Ciel d’Azur Labs’ support to the Noé project and its partners (WAPCA in Ghana and CSRS in Côte d’Ivoire) which was implemented in the Kwabre-Tanoé transboundary forest contributed to:
– obtaining the land certificate for the Tanoé-Ehy Swamp Forest in Côte d’Ivoire, the first step towards classifying the forest as a community forest
– more than 400 community patrols resulting in 59 arrests for illegal logging and poaching, thus ensuring the protection of the ecosystem (and in particular four species of endangered primates: Cercocebus lunulatus, Cercopithecus roloway, Procolobus waldroni, Colobus vellerosus)
– the planting of 25,000 trees (local species only) for agro-forestry and reforestation of degraded forest areas.
A plot of land purchased in early 2019 by the Sumatran Orangutan Society has transformed the 360 hectares of palm trees into a thriving tropical forest.
The first step is to remove the thousands of palm trees that currently monopolise the land. A small team of chainsaws can cut down about 200 palms a day, paving the way for the next step in the forest restoration process: collecting seeds and making compost.
The restoration team conducted vegetation surveys in a forest near the site to determine suitable species.
The team collected seeds for cultivation in nurseries built on site. Other team members prepared the compost for the seedlings to be planted on this plot, which will provide habitat for the orangutans and other wildlife.