The Green Earth Organization (GEO) has urged Ghana's government to stop all mineral extraction in the country's forest reserves in order to manage the natural resources and keep intact the livelihood of the area's indigenous communities.
Within Ghana's high canopy forests is an area of about 17,000 sq kms, which includes 216 forest reserves, mostly established between 1920 and 1960. Most of these reserves are set aside primarily for sustainable wood production while the rest of the land is designated by law as environmentally protected. Strict rules apply regarding its environmental, soil and water protection.
In 1900 Ghana had 8.5 million hectares of forest. Today the area is about 1.6 million hectares. The forests have always provided Ghanaians with food, shelter, employment and raw materials such as charcoal and timber.
The GEO estimates that the forests could now be disappearing faster than the 75,000 hectares a year it estimated in 2007, largely because of the government