Chapter 13. The Lost Forest of West Africa

Claude Martin’s 1991 The Rainforests of West Africa: Ecology—Threats—Conservation presents an excellent overview of the state of forests in this region (Birkhäuser – Basel, Boston, Berlin).

Palm oil and cocoa

This 1997 paper by Gerritsma and Wessel on ‘Oil palm: domestication achieved?’ can be found here http://library.wur.nl/ojs/index.php/njas/article/view/506

Logging and war

For an example of the effects of illegal logging in Ghana see this article summarizing research published in the journal of biological conservation https://ensia.com/notable/new-study-shines-a-light-on-bird-loss-due-to-illegal-logging-in-ghana/.

Ruf and Doffanguni present research findings on the ways in which cocoa production has driven rainforest loss in Ivory Coast in ‘Climate change, cocoa migrations and deforestation in West Africa: What does the past tell us about the future?’ https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11625-014-0282-4
Poached forest

The extinction threat posed to hundreds of species of mammals by demand for bushmeat is examined in this 2016 paper by Ripple et al. ‘Bushmeat hunting and extinction risk to the world's mammals’ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5098989/

Ivory Coast poverty traps

My research visit to the cocoa landscapes of western Ivory Coast took place during June 2016.

Raiders of the rainforest

Friends of the Earth’s 1992 report into corruption in the Ghanaian forestry sector was called Plunder of Ghana’s rainforests for illegal profit: An expose of corruption, fraud, and other malpractice in the international timber trade. Friends of the Earth, London. The material in that report was used to make a TV documentary.

Structural adjustment

I explore the theme of export-led economic growth as an underlying cause for deforestation. This paper explores that further Trading Forests: Quantifying the Contribution of Global Commodity Markets to Emissions from Tropical Deforestation, Persson, M. et al. (2014) Centre for Global Development, Working Paper 384.