Sustainable Conservation of Rare Tree Species in the Ajenjua Bepo and Mamang River Forest Reserves, Ghana Using Community Engagement and Spatiotemporal Dynamics

16 Jan 2024 Ajenjua Bepo Forest Reserve, Ghana, Africa Biodiversity | Communities | Forests | People

Kwadwo Kyenkyehene Kusi

This project plans to assess rare tree species diversity of the two forest reserves namely the Ajenjua Bepo and Mamang River forest reserves, and to engage the fringe communities on conservation practices of the rare tree species within the reserves. The Ajenjua Bepo and Mamang River Forest Reserves have seen different forms of degradation at different levels with many species becoming rare and vulnerable. Anthropogenic activities such as forest fires, illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting have altered these forest reserves and increased the vulnerability of some important species. These species are experiencing a lasting decline in area, extent, population and quality of habitat. In Ghana, the dependency of the local people mostly farmers to forests have increased the threats to healthy and sustainable forests. Tree species have been threatened due to their commercial value and some other benefits derived by the local people.

Forest management can be done properly by maintaining tree species inventory, distribution, and diversity but not neglecting key stakeholders. Forest inventories, biodiversity monitoring, protection of native species, and climate change studies which all form part of sustainable management of forests and conservation are aimed towards improving human well-being. Several studies on sustainable forest management at the forest reserve level do not integrate community engagement with a focus on the marginal members as well as spatiotemporal change analysis, and biodiversity assessment.

This project will use biodiversity assessment, spatiotemporal change analysis, community engagement and gender inclusion to sustainably manage and conserve rare tree species in the two forest reserves of Ghana. The biodiversity assessment method is a prerequisite to implementing conservation plans and actions aimed to promote sustainable development. It will help to evaluate the efficiency of conservation policies and biodiversity management strategies existing at the two forest reserves and promote protection, preservation and sustainable management of rare tree species. The spatiotemporal change detection analysis provides the evidence through maps, the changes that have occurred in the forest reserves over the years. The community engagement will help almost everyone involved in the decision-making concerning conservation to be implicated.

Project Updates