Evidence suggests that the scale of the task (both for Ghana and for the wider world when it comes to climate change) requires a faster solution than the current non-commercial planting of slower growing trees. And surely one way of doing this is to look at fixing the lack of communication between the aid communities, environmental groups, NGO’s and the professional commercial hardwood plantations.
How much does reforestation cost?
Another factor to consider is the sheer cost of reforestation on a scale necessary to fight climate change. The desire for mass planting is not yet matched by the required funding from the global community and while the planting of trees stays reliant on aid organisations and governments there could be long delays before the required level of tree planting is reached. Consequently, it is almost certainly necessary for the commercial world to work in tandem with the global community on replanting forests at a much faster rate and working out how to best manage those forests for the future. This needs to be done by working out a successful, balanced and profitable mechanism for growing trees for profit and generating margin in a sustainable and productive way, particularly when it comes to the long lead times currently in place in the tree growing industry.
Long lead times have, in the past, been one of the problems with successful plantation growth – the time from investment to monetization often being seen as a barrier to entry. However, good management over the last few years and the excellent rate of growth of Ghana’s hardwood forests means this is no longer the case. Here’s what British MP Andrew Bridgen
had to say about the reforestation of Ghana in the Afram Headwaters Reserve:
“The project is a large-scale reforestation project based in the Afram Headwaters Forest Reserve, covering over 10,000 Acres. The sheer scale is difficult to grasp! … The company has planted over 4 million trees to date. They have taken a massive financial burden for the Global community and broken it down into manageable sized projects. This has been turned into a profitable business for individuals… I was lucky enough to be on the plantation as the first trees were being harvested. At 7-8 years old, these trees contained over 0.5cbm of saleable timber. All timber grown is fully certified plantation Teak. The fact that you are standing in a profitable, large-scale carbon absorbing forest that just a few years earlier was totally degraded land is a wonderful feeling.”
Here in the UK, such commercial enterprises are now being recognised as essential by the UK government in its promotion of reforestation. The combination of long-term benefits for a local community and an environmentally friendly, successful business that helps combat climate change are irresistible.