Projects

Impact of Land Cover Change on Carbon Stocks in the Moist Semi-Deciduous Forest Zone of Ghana: The case of Bobiri Forest Reserve and its surroundings

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:41

The country’s attempt to implement land-based carbon projects is hampered by lack of baseline information especially on carbon stocks. Presently, our knowledge of Ghana’s carbon budget is limited by inadequate data on carbon stocks in the various cover types as well as the spatial distribution of these sinks. Moreover, quantifying forest cover changes is a key requirement in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol
implementation. Though there is national awareness about the alarming pace of forest cover change in Ghana, estimation of this change is however based on “best guesses” rather than on scientifically robust methods. Thus, there is an urgent need to determine more reliable estimates of forest cover
changes and associated carbon stocks at a resolution consistent with the scale of deforestation in the country.

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana

Promotion and Utilization of two Lesser-Used Timber Species from Afram Headwaters Forest Reserve

Sat, 11/24/2012 - 22:32

Wood has always held a significant place in human history. It has served man as a structural material for buildings, furnishings, tools and weapons and until recently as the only readily available fuel. Wood represents one of the most important renewable natural resource. Currently, Ghana’s timber industry is faced with diminishing volumes of forest resources and threatened with possible extinction of most traditional timber species. The industry’s concentration on international trade with a few major timber species is a critical constraint that has led to over-harvesting of the more popular species. With the dwindling volumes of these primary timber species, it has become necessary that the industry utilizes these promotable lesser-used and lesser known timber species (LUS/LKS) that relatively abound in the forest. Notwithstanding their distribution and abundance in most forest reserves, information on their basic and technological properties for efficient promotion is lacking. Two of such species, Cola gigantea and Ficus sur, were selected for study.

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
Funding bodies
Ghana Government

ITTO-REDDES Project

Fri, 08/03/2012 - 13:12


“Strengthening the capacity of ITTO producer countries in Africa in generating and disseminating scientific information on Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Environmental Services from Forests”

(ITTO Project Number RED-PA 056/11 Rev.1 (F))

With support from the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), IUFRO-SPDC and FORNESSA have embarked on a new project addressing the challenges of deforestation and forest rehabilitation in Africa. Within the frame of ITTO’s Thematic Programme on “Reducing Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Environmental Services in Tropical Forests (REDDES)”, the project aims at generating scientific information on specific pilot areas in Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria, and disseminating this information to policy makers and forest practitioners at the national and regional level through science-policy interactions in close cooperation with the African Forest Forum (AFF).

To this end, national expert groups composed of scientists with various specialisations are in the process of conducting comprehensive scientific assessments in the pilot areas covering the whole range of aspects related to the natural resource base, socio-economic situation and institutional environment impacting on the extent and distribution of forest and tree resources in these areas. Based on these independent assessments and analyses of available scientific information, specific strategies and actions will be formulated for each pilot area on how best to integrate measures to reduce deforestation and forest degradation into current land use practices and economic activities.

National partners in the assessment are the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), Cameroon; the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), Ghana, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Liberia; and the Forestry Research Institute, Nigeria (FRIN), Nigeria.

Overall, the project will generate the scientific information needed for policy and management to address deforestation and improve forest dependent livelihoods through sustainable natural resource utilisation and restoration of tropical forests. In addition, the project will further foster cooperation through expanded networking among the forest science community, forest managers and policy makers in the region.

 

Inception Workshop

A first meeting on this project took place at the Excelsa Lodge Conference Centre in Kumasi, Ghana from 25 to 27 March 2012, bringing together representatives of the four participating institutions from Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria, respectively. The meeting was chaired by Dr. E. Foli (FORIG, Ghana), the expert Group Leader for Ghana and Regional Coordinator of the project. Expert leaders from the partner countries attending the meeting included Mr. Bernard Cheteu (IRAD, Cameroon), Mr. Blamah S. Goll (FDA, Liberia); and Dr. Olajide R Adejoba (FRIN, Nigeria).


In his opening remarks, Dr. Victor Kwame Agyeman, Director, FORIG and Chairman of FORNESSA), emphasised the importance of regional collaboration and expressed the  hope that the  project will enhance research networking under the umbrella of FORNESSA. The meeting substantially benefited from the presence of Dr. Joseph Cobbinah, Coordinator of FORNESSA and Chairman of the Congress Scientific Committee (IUFRO-FORNESSA Regional Congress) who guided the discussions on best approaches for the assessment in the pilot areas. On the first day of the meeting participants went on a field trip to the Offinso District, located near Kumasi, serving as the REDDES pilot site in Ghana.


Major discussions during the meeting and results obtained are summarised as follows:

  • Profile of pilot areas: the team agreed on developing a uniform format for the description of the pilot areas, in order to allow direct comparison between the sites. To this end, a special questionnaire will be developed for use in all pilot areas.
  • Selection of pilot sites: all four pilot sites will be located in the tropical high forest zone and show various degrees of disturbances through decades of human interventions. It was also emphasised that the focus of REDDES assessment goes beyond climate change addressing all factors driving deforestation and forest degradation. For reasons of efficient assessment and stakeholder consultations the pilot areas should be easily accessible by the team of scientists and selected sites must have characteristics linked to the country definition of forest
  • Stakeholder consultations: All relevant stakeholders in the pilot areas are to be identified and made aware of the importance of reducing deforestation and forest degradation. Besides stakeholder meetings, the project will also develop easy-to-understand flyers and information leaflets about REDDES.
  • Strategies for reducing deforestation and forest degradation:  Discussions about possible strategies to address REDDES  focussed - amongst others on the need to (a) build on land management practices already in place; (b) ensure that results from pilot sites can be mainstreamed into national  REDD+ strategies  (c) that local level strategies that are effective in addressing deforestation and forest degradation must be strengthened and reinforced, d) that activities that t require external inputs  and support must be distinguished from those that  can be implemented by local authorities and stakeholders e) predominant and site specific key drivers of deforestation and forest degradation should be identified.
  • Finally, a framework for meetings, country and project reporting was discussed and agreed upon.
Responsible party
ITTO, IUFRO-SPDC, FORNESSA

The democracy effects of collaborative forest governance in Ghana: lessons for REDD

Wed, 06/27/2012 - 09:25

This is part of a regional forest governance research programme, being implemented by CODESRIA, University of Illinois and IUCN titled 'Responsive Forest Governance Initiative'. in Ghana, the research is broadly investigating issues of democratic representation, citizenship and public domain as elements of democracy focusing on the extent to which collaborative forest management and participatory decision-making approaches produce democracy outcomes among rural communities.

Responsible party
CSIR Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
Funding bodies
Swedish International Development Agency

Processing and utilisation of trees on farmlands and logging residues through collaboration with local communities

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 14:19

Goal
 

To increase the benefits that local communities derive from forest resources and thereby enhance their contribution to sustainable forest management
 

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)
Funding bodies
International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO)

Conservation and utilization of medicinal plants in Ghanaian Forest Fringe Communities

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 14:12

Goal: To develop conservation and sustainable utilization strategies for medicinal plant species within forest fringe communities of different ecological zones in Ghana.

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)
Funding bodies
International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO)

Developing alternatives to illegal chainsaw milling through multi-stakeholder dialogue in Ghana and Guyana

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 14:08

To investigate causes, drivers and impacts of illegal chainsaw milling in Ghana to inform the multi-stakeholder policy dialogue process

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)

Bamboo as sustainable biomass energy: A Suitable alternative for firewood and charcoal production in Africa

Tue, 07/06/2010 - 13:50

To produce industrial/domestic charcoal, firewood and briquette as alternative sustainable energy

Responsible party
International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)
Funding bodies
European union

Utilization of Coconut wood, Oil palm wood, Rubber wood, Borassus palm and Broussonetia as timber resources in Ghana

Tue, 06/29/2010 - 16:44

The project seeks to diversify the resource base of Ghana’s lumber by utilizing some lesser-used species namely, Coconut wood, Oil Palm wood, Rubber wood, Borassus Palm and Brousonetia. At a certain age of their plantations, production is constrained leading to economic loss. For instance, after 25 years, it is not economical to tap the latex from rubber wood so at that stage the tree is often discarded. When it comes to coconut, farmers experience economic loss due to the prevalence of the Cape St. Paul wilt’s disease on the trees which leave it unproductive. In its old age, the productivity of oil palm reduces because the tree grows very tall thereby making harvesting difficult. Broussonetia is also an invasive species that is often regarded as a weed but evidence shows that it could grow to the size that could be utilized as wood. All these species if they can be utilized can reduce the pressure that is being put on traditional timber species. Utilizing these species could also make the agricultural lands on which they grow productive enabling farmers recover some of the losses incurred.

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)
Funding bodies
Government of Ghana

Impact of selective logging on vegetation carbon stock, regeneration, diversity of species, soil carbon stock and carbon dioxide flux: the case of Bobiri forest reserve

Tue, 06/29/2010 - 16:24

The tropical forest plays vital role in the global carbon cycle and climate system. It is home to about half the species of the world; hence their continual loss would create large and potentially irreversible loss of biodiversity. Forest degradation and deforestation are said to account for between 20 to 25% of global green house gas (GHG) emissions with CO2 forming a greater percentage. Consequently, countries worldwide are trying to develop several measures to mitigate global atmospheric carbon increase.
 

Ghana heavily depends on timber for economic growth and development. Though Ghana practices selective logging system, which involves felling of few trees per hectare, several trees are destroyed with the soil being also exposed due to the use of heavy machinery for extraction. There is therefore the urgent need to understand the recovery rate and carbon cycling mechanism, in order to develop methods to quantify and monitor the carbon stock of our tropical natural forest and also to develop management tools to hasten recovery while ensuring that biodiversity is maintained.
 

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)
Funding bodies
Government of Ghana

Effects of Jatropha curcas intercrop on disease-prone indigenous tree seedling survival and growth

Tue, 06/29/2010 - 16:17

The rate of environmental degradation in the drier forest (savannah) zones of Ghana is of great concern because it is contributing to climate change and its deleterious effects such as torrential rains and floods. Such catastrophic events eventually affect the livelihoods and property of many poor rural folks whose existence is intricately linked with the environment in which they live. Rural communities in these areas depend heavily on the few indigenous trees available, not only for their effects in mitigating the harsh weather conditions, but also in sustaining water availability, provision of food, fodder for animals and as fuel wood for cooking and other household needs. The overdependence on these indigenous tree species over the years has resulted in their near depletion, resulting in harsher and extreme weather conditions and prolonged drought. Torrential rains during the dry season have also brought about untold suffering from famine and poverty. However, attempts at establishing plantations of indigenous trees in the savannah zones have always been frustrated by some diseases and termite infestations especially in the dry season. Jatropha curcas, one of the few plant species that retain their green foliage during the dry season, is known to have some insecticidal and antibacterial properties. Coupled with its potential of becoming a source of income for households if properly exploited, it would be appropriate to find out if it is capable of enhancing the survival of other tree species when grown in association.
 

By virtue of its special properties, Jatropha curcas has been combined with a wide range of plants comprising agricultural, horticultural, herbs, pastoral and/or silvicultural components to produce an ecologically viable, economically profitable and socially acceptable agroforestry system. A number of intercropping models have been tried, applied and developed for both wastelands and cultivable lands. These include hedgerows of Jatropha with Glyricidia and Subabul; Jatropha intercropped with grasses, tubers and vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, water melon etc; Jatropha mixed with fruit trees; and Jatropha in mixed plantation with Teak, Neem etc.
 

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)
Funding bodies
Government of Ghana

Conservation of Bamboo germplasm through establishment of Bambusetum and Bamboo nursery

Tue, 06/29/2010 - 15:38

Bamboo utilization in Asian countries has developed from the simple use of raw culms to comprehensive exploitation of the resource for making handicrafts, ply bamboos, pulp and paper, drinks and medicines through research and development. In contrast, bamboo resources continue to be underutilized in African countries including Ghana. Extensive use of bamboo in Africa has largely been for domestic uses like firewood, clearing for agriculture and heavy use of bamboo culms for mostly fencing, construction of houses, grazing and even feeding donkeys and cattle through the cut and carries practices. The extraction and utilization have not been based on any scientific basis. The level of processing of bamboo products is also low. Under such circumstances there is always a risk of bamboo germplasm diminishing. This project therefore aims at conserving bamboo germplasm through establishment of bamboo nursery and bambusetum. The bambusetum will serve as a centre for bamboo information, training, useful facility for scientists and source of high quality bamboo planting materials.

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)
Funding bodies
Government of Ghana

Utilization of Broussonetia and Borassus palm as timber resources in Ghana

Tue, 06/29/2010 - 15:31

Sustainable forest management has been made a priority in Ghana, and the government is now actively pursuing the use of Lesser-Used-Species (LUS) and plantation species to reduce the pressure on the more popular timber species. Broussonetia papyrifera occur in abundance in the Afram Headwaters and Pra Anum Forest Reserves. Palmate species (including Borassus palm) are also in abundance in the forests of Ghana, and are underutilized. For the effective utilization and promotion of the ‘invasive’ Broussonetia papyrifera and palmate species as raw materials in the wood industry, knowledge of their basic and technological properties and characteristics are required to provide information concerning their suitability for specific end-uses.

Responsible party
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)

Aide Memoire from the Networking meeting in Blantyre, Malawi

Tue, 06/29/2010 - 13:59

During the FORNESSA Networking Meeting in Malawi in 2009 the Forests and Climate Change Group discussed common on-going country research activities related to climate change in the sub-region and identified gaps that exist in climate change research

Responsible party
Forestry Research Network of Sub-Saharan Africa (FORNESSA)
Funding bodies
International Union of Forestry Research Organisations - Special Programme for Developing Countries (IUFRO-SPDC)
upload
/sites/default/files/documents/Climate_Change_Action_Plan_2009-2010_1.pdf