Forest Conservation

Ghana has lost more than 33.7% of its forests since the early 1990s due to logging, unsustainable farming practices, mining and infrastructural development. Deforestation has a devastating impact on soil, water, air quality and biodiversity.

Forests in all forms―whether tropical, temperate or boreal, perform far more functions than simply the production of wood and non-wood products. They are crucial for the attainment of more than half of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs). They provide solutions to the following;

Poverty eradication

Environmental sustainability

Food security and agriculture

Clean water and watershed protection

Biodiversity conservation

Mitigation of and adaptation to climate change

Combating of desertification and land degradation, and disaster risk reduction.

Forests are vital for creating green economies, including green industries.

Atewa Forest

A Rocha Ghana’s  main forest focus is the Atewa Landscape, where we have been working to secure the Atewa Range Forest Reserve since 2014. 

This area is a unique highly biodiverse upland evergreen forest providing habitats for many endemic and endangered species, and critical ecosystem services like clean water and climate change resilience.  A Rocha Ghana has supported the over 50 communities dotted around the forest with various livelihood interventions to help reduce over reliance on the forest for survival.

The Atewa Campaign

Atewa Forest is home to many birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies and amphibians which are either threatened or found nowhere else. It is home to more than 100 species currently at risk of extinction. 

Five million people depend on the forest for a clean water supply. There are plans to extract bauxite – the ore of aluminium – from the Atewa hills. A Rocha Ghana is taking the lead in the campaign to protect it from mining, and for it to become a national park. Read more [insert internal link to project page] about the Atewa Forest campaign.

Atewa Critical Conservation Action Programme (ACCAP). A.G. Leventis Foundation

The ACCAP project is driving the Atewa Range Forest Reserve towards one goal – securing the long-term integrity of the forest by engaging in local and international campaigns advocating for the protection of Atewa against government’s plans to mine bauxite in it. The project is also tackling the ongoing degradation and encroachment from illegal logging, hunting, farming, and small-scale gold mining. Central to this is our work with the forest edge communities to build institutions – Community Resources Management Areas (CREMAs) – that empower them to take responsibility for their own natural resources.

ECONOBIO II. French Development Agency (AFD) through Noe

This project is contributing to the development of sustainable economic sectors and improving biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources by communities. Sustainability of the model is secured by strengthening the civil society players and by capitalizing and disseminating the project lessons learnt. These activities are complemented by the development of several high-end green commodity value chains. 

The Pangolin project

Safeguarding the world’s most trafficked mammal: Surveying and tracking White-bellied Pangolins to strengthen conservation decision-making and improve Pangolin survival. Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ) 

This project is safeguarding the world’s most trafficked mammal, the White-bellied Pangolins, by training local communities to survey and track the species to strengthen conservation decision-making and improve Pangolin survival. A Pangolin rehabilitation centre has been set up at A Rocha Ghana’s Kyebi Office for rehabilitation of rescued Pangolins before they are re-introduced into the wild.

We raise awareness of the threats faced by Pangolins annually on World Pangolin Day and campaign to get them  stronger protection. In 2022, we partnered with WABiLED/USAID, Ghana Wildlife Division, and Pangolin-GH for a week of advocacy, and distributed our awareness poster educating people (especially in hotspot areas) on what to do if they find a Pangolin outside its natural habitat.  We also now have an exhibit on Pangolins in the Museum of Science and Technology to educate visitors on Pangolins and their need for protection. 


Protecting Atewa Critical Ecosystem through Biodiversity Assessments and Participatory Monitoring. Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)

The project was aimed at protecting the biologically rich Atewa Range Forest Reserve from current threats of illegal mining, the government’s intended bauxite mining plan and other forms of degradation. This was done through regular community monitoring and reporting of illegal and damaging activities; and assessing its biodiversity to confirm Atewa’s Key Biodiversity Area status.


Digitizing Data for African Landscapes-GBIF, BID and JRS Biodiversity Foundation

A Rocha Ghana together with 10 other organisations from across Africa worked to digitize, share and use data to help the conservation of four forested African landscapes. This has been made possible under a Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) project dubbed, “Digitizing Data for African Landscapes.” Also, as part of the project, partners and stakeholders in the biodiversity conservation space were trained in biodiversity data mobilisation and publication. Through this project, datasets on mammals, birds, trees and butterflies in the Atewa Range Forest Reserve have been published. These datasets are expected to be used in powerful ways for biodiversity conservation including planning and development decisions, research, education, tourism, fundraising and reporting.

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