As long as forests are left undisturbed or are harvested sustainably in an ecologically sound manner, the option for future land uses are left open. Once forests are damaged and cleared their ecological diversity declines, species are lost and irreversible ecological and environmental changes occur. The many roles forests play, like providing soil stability and protection significantly decline when the integrity of the forest is compromised.
The Aburi Hills in Ghana is habitat to rare plant species many of whose roots provide exudates for holding the fragments of the hills together and thereby preventing occurrences like mudslides, erosion and rock disengagement among others. Due to poor impact assessment and supervision, the functions of these trees were either overlooked or not recognized as relevant and were thus removed during the construction of the road.
This was further made worse by the uncontrolled and uncoordinated building projects uphill. As a way to check any potential disaster, the authorities placed wire mesh across the exposed rock surface in a bid to address the likely consequences of environmental mismanagement. Has the problem been addressed yet? Do not ignore nature in our desire to transform it.
BY : DR. YAW OSEI- OWUSU
CONSERVATION ALLIANCE INTERNATIONAL