Gateway to International Timber Trade16 January 2016
First FSC teak from Form Ghana reforestation company
This year Form Ghana reached a milestone in plantation forestry in Ghana: the first harvest of 3000 m3 quality teak has been realized from its FSCTM-certified plantations in Akumadan. Form Ghana is sustainably managing over 3 thousand hectares of planted teak, FSC-certified since 2010. After years of planting, weeding, pruning, and thinning, the trees on the oldest parts, planted in 2001, had reached an average diameter of 20 cm and were ready to harvest.
Form Ghana is the plantation owner and in charge of daily management. The plantations have been established with support from the Dutch government (PSOM) and are managed with the help of Form international in the Netherlands. The vision of Form Ghana is that reforestation of degraded forest land should be done in accordance with the highest standards for sustainable forest management, serving the needs of the local communities and restoring vital environmental services within an economically viable business model. Good contact with the Forestry Commission was crucial in the process.
When starting the project, back in 2007, the situation in the field was quite different from what you’ll see here nowadays. Degraded forest areas, little trees, soil erosion … This was the starting point for reforestation, partly with teak, but also with indigenous species, such as Mahogany and Ofram. The indigenous species planted in the buffer zones along streams are protecting soil and water, and will not be harvested. The teak trees however, make the project economically attractive and generate money for the costly management of the whole area. The company will reforest at least 20,000 hectares of degraded forest reserve in Ghana, so far 8,000 hectares has been planted. Most of the work is done by over 900 national employees that are hired by the company. Employees are frequently trained to carry out their task in the best possible way.
The company operates in a socially, ecologically and economically responsible way. This resulted in a certificate for sustainable forest management awarded by the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSC) in 2010 Form Ghana complies with FSC-principles and requirements, such as maintaining long-term benefits from the forest and enhancing forest workers' and local communities’ social and economic well-being.
Great care is taken to avoid damage to the environment when planning activities such as harvesting. Harvesting in Akumadan is done manually with chain saws and extraction of timber is done with tractors. This methodology causes minimum damage to the remaining site.
This year the planning and marking of follow-up harvesting will take place, as Form Ghana is going to continue its harvesting operations.