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EXCLUSIVE: The environmental impact of uncontrolled lumbering in Ghana

Ghana used to be rich in forest resources and forest were important to the economy. Today the country forest resources are highly degraded. Wildfires agriculture and indiscriminate logging ( mainly through chainsaw milling) have contributed to this process. A most comprehensive analysis of tropical forest, has disclosed that Ghana has the highest rate of deforestation, out of 65 nations apart from Togo and Nigeria. The illegal act of felling trees has become one of the commonest offences in Ghana. Today some offenders are caught by the law, the fortunate ones are never caught while others are sometimes deliberately let go by guardians of the law.

The high incidence of illegal chainsaw milling and other illegal logging and legal harvest account

For the drastic reduction of Ghana's forest cover which currently stands at 1.6 million hectares from 8 million hectares at the beginning of the 1990's. The activities of illegal lumbers have become a serious threat to sustain the country's forest which if not tackle with the seriousness that it deserves could spell doom for the country.

Although forest play vital role in the economy of Ghana and a great number of people continue to depend on the forest resources for subsistence and to satisfy their sociocultural needs one of the biggest environmental challenges facing the country today is the need to reconcile the conflicting demands of the various stakeholders for these resources. 

The continues depletion of these resources is likely to lead to their eminent extinction in the long term and this will have enormous consequences on the forest themselves and the livelihood of the population.

In Ghana the reason behind the cutting down of trees is usually for charcoal, pasture, for livestock, farms, urban or industrial purposes. The cutting down of trees, in the eyes of the law, is often considered legal or illegal, however, both the legal and illegal turnout are having a drastic effect on the nation, since they do not involved proper afforestation activities. The forest place is left bared

, mostly with the notion of waiting for nature to reproduce. These trees again, which takes many years and decades to do so.

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