Location: Atewa Range Forest Reserve
Leader: Hopeson Eli Etsra/ Project Manager, Atewa Landscape I A Rocha Ghana

Overall Goal

The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the conservation of the rare Upland Evergreen forest ecosystem found in the Atewa Forest so that it more effectively protects and enhances its populations of target threatened and near-endemic tree species.

Project Summary

The project titled “Strengthening knowledge and action on Atewa Forest’s significance for protecting globally threatened tree species, critical ecosystems, and ecosystem service provision” is a three-year project funded by the Franklinia Foundation in partnership with CSIR-Plant Genetic Resources Research Institute.
The aim of the project is to to increase knowledge about Atewa’s threatened tree species and improve their protection, as well as strengthen our advocacy demanding for the forest to be upgraded to a National Park and government to cancel its bauxite mining plans. Together these outcomes will protect both Atewa’s threatened tree species and the whole diversity of wildlife and rare ecosystems the forest harbours. It is implemented in the Atewa Landscape by A Rocha Ghana.
See details of the project launch here

Project launch

The project which was officially launched on August 17, 2023 at the he Abuakwa South District Assembly in the Eastern Region of Ghana, brought together all stakeholders to discuss project activities with expected deliverables, and to collaboratively agree a way forward towards successful project delivery.

Project launch

Director for CSIR-PGRRI, Dr. Daniel Ashie Kotey addressing participants at the launch.

Objective One

To strengthen conservation of 19 target tree species by supporting 20 community forest monitors, 20 botany students, and 10 staff of FSD, CSIR-PGRRI, and ARG with knowledge, capacity, and skills for tree identification by mid-2024.
Target tree species
  • Aubregrinia taiensis (CR)
  • Cola boxiana (EN)
  • Omphalocarpum ahia (EN)
  • Tieghemella heckelii (EN)
  • Monocyclanthus vignei (EN)
  • Vepris heterophylla (EN)
  • Okoubaka aubrevillei (EN)
  • Eriocoelum pungens (EN)
  • Lecaniodiscus punctatus (EN)
  • Placodiscus attenuatus (EN)
  • Dactyladenia dinklagei (VU)
  • Tapura ivorensis (VU)
  • Gilbertiodendron splendidum (VU)
  • Cola reticulata (VU)
  • Phyllanthus profusus (VU)
  • Pavetta mollissima (VU)
  • Robynsia glabrata (VU)
  • Placodiscus bracteosus (VU)
  • Pericopsis elata (EN)

Okoubaka aubrevillei or death tree, found in the rainforests of West and Central Africa including Atewa Forest is thought to have declined to only 250 trees in the wild, and the increasing value of its bark is fueling on-going harvesting (Price, 2018). It is listed in Annex D of EU COMMISSION REGULATION 2021/2280 of 16 December 2021 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein (

Pericopsis elata is listed in the Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (14 February 2021).

Expected Outcome

20 community members, 20 botany students and 10 ARG/PGRRI/FSD staff are using their new skills in tree identification and information recording to survey and monitor the forest, update information, and identify, record, map and collect data on more trees of the 19 target tree species.

Objective Two

To map target tree species and identify socio behaviour, pest, diseases, invasive plant species and climatic factors that hamper natural regeneration of the target tree species in the Atewa forest by end of 2024.
Expected Outcome

The trained community monitors are using the mapped locations of identified target trees for monitoring and information updates on priority areas and individual target trees.

Objective Three

To increase the local seedling availability and forest populations of Atewa’s threatened trees by building capacity of 50 nursery managers and other stakeholders for propagation of the 19 target CR/EN/VU tree species and by integrating appropriately genetically diverse tree seedlings/saplings of the 19 species into the tree nursery and the natural forest by early 2025.
Expected Outcome

Genetically diverse seedlings of target tree species have been integrated into the tree nursery and natural forest, and the trained nursery managers and others are using their new skills to continue collect seeds and propagate target tree seedlings for enrichment planting and agroforestry.

Objective Four

To strengthen awareness raising and advocacy calling for the upgrade of Atewa’s protection status and its removal from bauxite mining plans by using the new evidence of the target tree species to further highlight the critical significance of the Atewa Forest for nature and people by mid-2025.
Expected Outcome

Atewa Forest has been upgraded to a National Park and has been removed from the government’s bauxite mining plans, strengthening the protection of the target tree species.

Project in partnership with