Ghana has one of the stronger economies of sub-Sahara Africa due to its array of natural resources. However, the exploitation of these resources, coupled with the overall lack of environmental awareness, has devastated the country's forests. In less than 50 years, Ghana's primary rain-forest has been reduced by 90 percent, while in the past 15 years (1990-2005), the country lost 1.9 million hectares or 26 percent of its forest cover.
Subsistence agriculture and cutting for fuel-wood is common throughout Ghana and worsening due to a population growth rate approaching 3 percent. Logging and the pursuit of gold have also proved costly to the country's natural areas.
Forest loss in Ghana has exacerbated droughts and bush-fires. In 1997 and 1998, widespread bush-fires led the government to step up its anti-bush-fire campaign, but the reform had little effect. Desert is encroaching on some deforested lands and soil erosion is rampant. The economic development of Ghana has come at a great cost to its forests and environment.
According to data from the World Resources Institute, Ghana has 3,725 species of plants, 729 birds, 222 mammals, 131 reptiles, and 90 fish.