NATIONAL FOREST PLANTATION DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
The National Forest Plantation Development Programme (NFPDP) was launched in September 2001 to accelerate the rate of establishment of forest plantations. The NFPDP, which hitherto was largely implemented within degraded forest reserves, was re-launched in January, 2010 to expand the scope to cover private lands located outside forest reserves. The Expanded Plantation Programme (EPP) ensured that most of the District /Municipal Assemblies without degraded forest reserves would also benefit from the job opportunities being created through the NFPDP.
The goal of the NFPDP is to develop a sustainable resource base that will meet the future demand for industrial timber and enhance environmental quality, thereby relieving the pressure on the natural forest and increasing forest cover.
The five specific objectives of the NFPDP are listed below:
- To restore the forest cover of degraded forest lands
- To reduce the wood supply deficit situation in the country
- To generate employment as a means to reduce rural poverty
- To improve environmental quality and provide an opportunity for the country to tap into the emerging benefits from the carbon markets and payment for environmental services.
- To enhance production of food crops and contribute to food security in the country.
The NFPDP has so far been implemented by the Government of Ghana through the Forestry Commission and the Private Sector with strong community participation. The various components under which the programme has been implemented relate to funding sources and implementation strategy.
An estimated 180,000ha (80% public sector, 20% private sector) of forest plantations has been established under the programme at the end of the year 2014. The species planted include Teak (Tectona grandis), Cedrela (Cedrela odorata) Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.) Ofram (Terminalia superba), Emire (Terminalia ivorensis) Mahogany (Khaya spp.) Wawa ( Triplochiton scleroxylon), Cassia (Senna siamea) etc.
Other achievements under the NFPDP include massive job creation within the rural areas and increased food production through the adoption of agro-forestry systems in the establishment of plantations.