- 2013 - 2013
- Ghana field campaign
Between November 8th and December 20th I led a 4th census on 6 forestplots in Ghana, providing a 20-year multicensus data series spanning 1993-2001-2007-2013. The team composed of a car and driver (mr. Sampson Adonten) from the Forestry Research Institute (FORIG) and two rangers (mr. Yaw Nkrumah and Francis Addai) of the Forestry Commission (FC) of the Government of Ghana. Ernest Foli (FORIG) and Kofi Affum-Baffou (FC) were the hosts who kindly helped me with organising the fieldwork. An expert botanist from FORIG (mr. Jonathan Dabo) joined the team at regular times.
The two ASN plots (ASN-04 and ASN-02) I visited are located in Asenanyo, a small forest reserve located on either side of a relatively big asphalted road. Both plots are located on flat terrain, with a slope of 0º almost everywhere, without boulders and no big stones. The plots are located in moist semi-deciduous mature rainforest and they are very rich in high-quality timber species. Together with its proximity to the Ashanti capital Kumasi, this richness turns the reserve into a wanted prey for the choir of hungry chainsaws that join the rainforest’s muggy afternoon buzzing, accompanying us each day in the field. A lot of exploitation has been going on in the region since at least 5 years (also before third census in 2008). Some trees were cut years ago, others only days ago. One of the illegal exploitation teams even made themselves comfortable in a camp in the middle of one of our plots. Specifically, there is a high abundance of Triplochiton scloroxylon, which is very wanted and exploited everywhere in the Asenanyo reserve. At least 5 large (>40cm) individuals of this species were recently cut in each of the ASN plots. As a result, the two Asenanyo plots are largely destroyed, although some subplots seem to have survived the chainsaw horror.