The Institute of Nature and Environmental Conservation (INEC) Ghana, an NGO that protects critically vulnerable tree species and ecosystems, is working to restore 240 hectares of degraded land within the Mankrang Forest Reserve in 2024.
Mr David Kwarteng, the Executive Director of INEC Ghana, explained that this would include the planting of about 210,000 of varied threatened species in the designated enclave.
He said the restoration exercise had become necessary due to the high rate of exploitation of trees such as Pericopsis elata (African teak) and rosewoods and their possible extinct in the near future.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, he said if critical and effective measures were not taken, these species would soon be extinct and the next generation would not get to see them.
The African teak, a hardwood timber, was recently listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
Mr Kwarteng told the GNA that, INEC Ghana had since 2020 sought to restore degraded forests in the Asenanyo Forest and the Afram Headwater Reserves both in the Ashanti Region.
At Asenanyo, the organization had planted African teak alongside with other species like, Ofram and Mahogany.
In the Afram Headwaters, the organization is restoring about 130 hectares of land using different kinds of threatened trees species such as rosewoods, African teak, Ofram, Wawa, Odum and others.
The Executive Director indicated that for the benefits of the communities surrounding the areas of restoration, INEC Ghana had been training inhabitants in sustainable agroforestry and green businesses such as snail rearing, beekeeping and honey making, grass cutter production among others.
These activities are meant to give the people alternative sources of livelihood.
Again, INEC Ghana had made conscious efforts to hire the youth and women to work on maintaining these tree species in the forest reserves to serve as employment and enhance their livelihoods.
Mr Kwarteng said the organization would continue to prioritize the health needs of the people in the operational areas by periodically conducting health screenings and providing recommended medication and advice to those who may need them.