Ghana conservation project completes first phase of pilot study
Thursday 6 July 2006
Through field work, research and local collaborations, ZSL is working towards protecting wildlife populations in amongst Ghana’s timber industry.
Our Wildlife Wood Project has been established in order to ensure that forest reserves set aside for timber production are managed to optimise survival of wildlife populations.
In the past year the team has collaborated closely with local NGOs, the University of Ghana and the timber industry, in order to research local reserves and promote sustainable forest and wildlife management.
The project has also been involved in a workshop for the national interpretation of criteria for the identification of High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF), demonstrating that ZSL is now an accepted stakeholder within the Ghanaian forest and wildlife management community.
Local field research is being conducted by ZSL’s Bjorn Schulte-Herbruggen, in forest reserves managed by collaborating timber companies, and work has been completed in one of these reserves to date.
Bjorn has been determining the presence of wildlife species and the level of threat posed through hunting and trapping, whilst also training timber company employees in wildlife survey methods in order to build management capacity and develop a pool of competent wildlife officers.
For the second stage of the project the same field work will begin in a second forest reserve considered to be one of the few remaining places where chimpanzees and other endangered primates can still be found in Ghana.
In the long-term, this project aims to determine criteria and indicators to be used in certification procedures which will allow timber traders to know their purchase has supported a forest company that takes account of wildlife management needs.