Atewa Range Forest Reserve in Ghana is internationally recognized for its gloriously diverse wildlife: 570 butterfly species have been recorded, more than at any other site in West Africa! Mammals include the threatened Geoffroy’s Black-and-White Colobus monkey, Royal Antelope, Bushbuck, Black Duiker, Brush-tailed porcupine, mongooses, genets, civets, squirrels and pangolins. A third of the many amphibians are at risk of extinction.
Atewa contains the headwaters of three river systems, providing clean drinking water for five million Ghanaians, as well as sustaining local industries and agriculture.
Yet the forest is threatened by a range of human activities. Illegal logging and hunting is widespread. Unlicensed small-scale gold mining pollutes the water sources of downstream forest edge communities and since the hills hold significant bauxite deposits, large-scale commercial mining is an ever-present threat.
Since 2012, A Rocha International and A Rocha Ghana have been working together to assess the threats – strengthening the case for protecting it as a National Park – and address some of the problems. Our research shows that illegal bushmeat hunting is often carried out by forest communities so we are implementing nature-based livelihoods such as farming Grasscutters (Cane Rats) and a native spice called Grains of Paradise.
We interviewed many miners who see no other way of earning an income. So we are planning to work with a vocational training institute to reskill them, giving miners and the forest a better future.
Please help us to raise £10,000 to support this work!
If we reach our target, we’ll receive an extra £10,000 as matched funding!