Forest Research Institute of Ghana

The Forestry Research Institute of Ghana - FORIG - is located outside of Kumasi, in Ghana, Africa. Ghana, once known as the Gold Coast is situated on the West African coast with Cote d' Ivoire (the Ivory Coast) on the west and Togo on the east. Ghana gained its independence from the British in 1957. For more information on Ghana, see Associated Links below.

FORIG is the center for forestry research in Ghana. The mission of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana is to conduct high quality, user-focused research that generates scientific knowledge and appropriate technologies which enhance the sustainable development, conservation, and efficient utilization of JRC IrokoGhana's forest resources; and also to disseminate the information for the improvement of social, economic and environmental well-being of the people of Ghana.

FORIG's head office is in the semi-deciduous tropical forest belt in the south-central part of Ghana. FORIG has worked on a number of projects and is currently collaborating with Northern Arizona University in efforts to establish or restore tropical forests in West African rainforest. Projects funded by the International Tropical Timber Organization are examining genetic resistance in Milicia spp., Iroko, to a gall forming insect, forest fragmentation and effects on biodiversity and mixed native species plantations.

FORIG/NAU Collaborative Project Personnel

Michael R. Wagner, Regent's Professor, School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University

Dr. Wagner is a Professor of International Forestry Emeritus in the School of Forestry. Dr. Wagner has co-authored six books including the most widely used textbook on forest entomology in the United States and the first book on forest entomology in West Africa with Dr. J.R. Cobbinah and Dr. P.P. Bosu. His research interests have focused on the mechanisms of genetic resistance in forest trees to defoliating insects. His interest in the African tropical forest began in 1972 and his affiliation with FORIG began in 1988. Dr. Wagner is currently the co-principal investigator on the ITTO grant between NAU and FORIG on native species plantations. Professor Wagner teaches a sustainable tropical forestry course in Ghana each summer.

Joe Rexford Cobbinah, Ph.D., Forestry Research Institute of Ghana [FORIG]

Dr. Cobbinah is a Chief Research Officer and Director Emeritus of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana. For the past twenty years Dr. Cobbinah has been working on pest problems of the tropical timber species, especially those occurring in plantations. He has also worked extensively in the area of plant derived insecticide and is considered the West African authority on snail farming. Dr. Cobbinah is currently the Coordinator for an International Tropical Timber Organization-funded project on pest management and genetic conservation of Iroko in West Africa.

Paul Beier, Ph.D. School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University

Dr. Beier is Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management at NAU. He has worked extensively in the United States on response of mammals and birds to management practices and landscape pattern, and on design and implementation of wildlife corridors. His collaboration with FORIG started in 1997, helping investigate the role of the straw colored bat (Eidelon helvum) in dispersal of Iroko seeds. Beier also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for Ghana's Nature Conservation and Research Centre (NCRC). In cooperation with FORIG, NCRC, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Beier documented the response of birds to forest fragmentation in Ghana (Beier, Kankam, and van Drielen 2002. Avifaunal collapse in West African forest fragments. Conservation Biology 16:1097-1111.). He has also investigated elephant crop damage in northeast Ghana (Adjewodah, Beier, Sam, & Mason. 2005. Elephant crop damage in the Red Volta Valley, northeastern Ghana. Pachyderm 38:39-48).

Starting in 1999, Beier has worked with several community-based conservation projects in Ghana, most notably the Wechiau Community Hippopotamus Sanctuary in northwestern Ghana. Beier helped write the initial management plan for the Sanctuary, and to help revise that plan in 2005. Using the Sanctuary as a research site, Beier worked with Agba Tungbani to study a bird-wasp nesting association (Beier & Tungbani. 2006. Nesting with wasps increases nest success of the Red-cheeked Cordon-Bleu. The Auk 123:1022-1037). He is currently working on an assessment of the first 10 years of the sanctuary.

Paul P. Bosu, Ph.D., Principal Research Officer at FORIG

Paul has been working in natural enemies of Phytolyma lata and the potential biological control of this insect using augmented release of natural enemies. He also is PI on the mixed nature species plantations project and co-instructs a sustainable tropical forestry course with Professor Wagner. 

Ghana Associated Links

*Photo above: Dr. Joseph R. Cobbinah with Insect Tolerant Selection of Iroko