Guinea Forestry Limited

Protecting and enhancing high conservation value forest in Ghana

Overview

Corporate goals

1. Protect and enhance high conservation values (HCVs) in the heavily degraded areas of the Forest Reserves.

2. Establish conservation agriculture outside the boundaries of the Forest Reserves to curb encroachment of illegal farming into Forest Reserves and at the same time  improve farmers' living standards.

3. Establish rearing of "bush meat" species and improve animal husbandry to curb illegal unlicensed hunting in the Forest Reserves.

4. Reduce riverine damage in the area through helping curb galamsey illegal gold mining.

5. Create well-paid employment for the forest fringe communities and improve their standards of living.

6. Develop a profitable teak plantation business to expand the business model and support other HCV projects.

Public Private Partnership

We have partnered with the Forestry Commission Ghana to develop a 1,800 teak hectare planation on heavily degraded land to protect and enhance high conservation values in a further 340 ha of forest.

Integrated approach

We have developed a financially sustainable long-term approach to satisfying both the needs of the growing forest fringe communities and also the protection and enhancement of high conservation value forests.

Conservation agriculture

Replacing inefficient farming methods

Traditional farming methods involve long fallow periods, often of many years, slash-and-burn land clearance and ploughing or tilling the soil before planting. These practices are all inefficient and unnecessary and we will encourage them to be replaced with conservation agriculture.

Three basic principles of conservation agriculture

1. Disturb the soil as little as possible.

2. Keep the soil covered as much as possible.

3. Mix and rotate the crops.

Benefits

1. Improved soil fertility and better yields.

2. Land in constant use with no fallow years. so less land required.

3. Less soil erosion.

4. Better soil moisture retention.

5. Lower labour costs since no ploughing or tilling.

5. Dramatically fewer wildfires.


Curbing illegal hunting

Illegal bush meat hunting

Unlicensed hunting and hunting in the close season between 1st December and 1st August is illegal in the Forest Reserves but the forest fringe communities eat bush meat throughout the year to supplement protein in their diets.

Rearing grasscutters and guinea fowl

We intend to support and organise the small scale rearing of grass cutters and guinea fowl to satisfy the need for bush meat. 

Better husbandry of domesticated animals

We intend to support better husbandry of sheep and goats to prevent, for example, inbreeding in order to improve productivity.

Why teak?

Providing financial self-sufficiency

Teak is very profitable, grows well in Ghana, is largely pest and disease free and has a ready market in India. The initial catalyst funding should provide sufficient cash flows from teak timber sales to fund expansion of the business model together with financing similar high conservation value projects in Ghana. 

Role of the Indian middle classes

India is the world's largest teak importer for use in furniture and contstruction. Teak is resistent to termite and fungal attack and is prized in India as the "royal wood". Indian GDP is forecast to expand strongly until at least 2050 by which time it is expected to be the world's second largest economy behind China but ahead of the United States. It is the growing Indian middle class which is expected to drive teak demand in the long term. 

Fire resistance

Unlike many other tropical trees, teak is largely wildfire resistant after its fifth year. Wildfires can devastate forests during the dry season when the Harmattan wind blows south from the Sahara Desert. "Slash and burn" land clearance for farming and game flushing during hunting are the usual culprits. Although we have a robust wildfire management plan, it is reassuring to know that the teak will be largely safe from fire damage after its fifth year.

Tragedy of galamsey

Illegal gold mining

Known as "galamsey" this activity is devastating riverine environments throughout Ashanti suffocating all river life and encouraging even children to drop out of school to help their parents to mine.

Mercury poisoning

The gold refining process involves boiling off mercury from a gold-mercury amalgam on open domestic fires. The mercury fumes are inhaled causing long-term chronic mercury poisoining.

Our response

We intend to pay good reliable wages to our workers with stable long-term employment to make galamsey economically  less attractive. The workers' children can return to school, mercury poisoning is avoided and working conditions are improved dramatically.

Our Partners

Forestry Commission Ghana

We have entered into a Public Private Partnership with the FCG to develop teak plantations proposed by the Ghana Forestry Plantation Strategy: 2016 - 2040.

CSIR-SRI

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Soil Research Insitute has provided all the soil analysis reports which have been crucial to the choice of plantation sites and  soil nutrient requirements.

CSIR-FORIG

The CSIR Forest Research Institute of Ghana will provide guidance and support on plantation practice and selection of seeds.

Forest Stewardship Council

We intend to work with the FSC in Ghana to secure FSC certification for all our teak wood exports.

Nirmala

This company is India's largest teak importer. They have provided guidance on Indian import requirements and logistics and have issued a Letter of Intent to buy all our teak production.

Gold Standard

We intend to secure Gold Standard certification to offer Voluntary Emission Reduction certificates as an additional source of income and to raise awareness of our work.

Contact Us

Contact Christopher Derricott, our CEO, for more information

Guinea Forestry Limited

159 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 7NA United Kingdom

E: c.derricott@guineaforestry.com

M: +44 (0) 7957 257176

T: +44 (0) 1865 556305