With the reforestation of degraded forest reserves, Form Ghana makes a valuable contribution to the restoration of Ghanaian forests and their ecosystem services: conservation of biodiversity, regulation of water regimes, maintenance of soil quality and limiting of erosion, fire protection and climate regulation.
The standing degraded forest along river courses is assisted in its recovery by assisted natural regeneration (ANR) techniques. Areas less suitable for teak and buffer zones along water streams are actively reforested with a variety of indigenous tree species and endangered native tree species are being reintroduced in the area. An overview of the principal tree species planted by Form Ghana is presented here.
Due to the reforestation activities the ecosystem is changing from an open savanna to a dense (plantation) forest ecosystem. This means fauna composition is also changing over time. During biodiversity monitoring in 2011, the first sightings of endangered fauna species have been reported. Encountered animals in the area include the Mona monkey, bushbuck, crocodile, bats, butterflies, frogs, warthog, African civet, various duiker species, tree pangolin, common genet, snakes and various bird species. Wildlife is protected by Form Ghana with poaching control.
|Angolan garter snake
| Slender snouted crocodile
|You can find more photos of wildlife encountered in the photo gallery.|
A water quality survey of Asubima Forest Reserve in 2011 showed that all values are now within limits set by the World Health Organization in their guidelines for drinking water. This is a significant improvement compared to the water sample analyses from 2007 showing that water quality was very poor. Reduction of erosion and the filtration of water entering the rivers and streams, both caused by replanting the buffer zones along water streams, are likely to be important factors for the improvement of the water quality.
Trees have the capacity to improve soil quality and build topsoil. Addition of organic matter is the most important factor contributing to soil quality; this directly improves physical, chemical and biological soil properties. Indirect effects of forests that benefit the soil include changes in microclimatic conditions and decreasing soil erosion.
The buffer zones also serve as green fire belts running through the timber plantation. Because of their proximity to rivers, riparian forests are moist and generally perform well as fire protection belts.
Climate change mitigation
The trees planted as part of Form Ghana's reforestation activities will have a carbon storage capacity of 500,000 tons CO2 by 2018 and over 3 million tons CO2 by the end of the 40-year land lease period. The effects of climate change mitigation have been independently validated as significant, permanent and additional by SCS according to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). Every ton of sequestered CO2 equals 1 carbon credit. Form Ghana is the first company in West-Africa to offer forest carbon credits.