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Save The Shea Tree

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Charcoal burners and miners are indiscriminately destroying Shea trees.

These trees can be found growing naturally in dry savannah lands of Africa, but you’d have to really look for them as the species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

In Northern Ghana, shea trees have been increasingly cut down for charcoal production and to make room for mining operations.

Our team has picked up on the problem of disappearing shea trees and Sammy Naawerebagr explains what the issue is:

The shea tree occurs over almost the entire area of Northern Ghana, about 77,670 square kilometers. There are approximately 900,000 rural women involved in the sector in Northern Ghana – from shea nut picking to processing either for personal consumption or for selling on markets. Shea trees are protected and nurtured by communities who value them for the nuts they have yielded for hundreds of years; they depend on them as their source of income. Shea is being felled indiscriminately. Charcoal burners and miners have no interest in conserving the tree and they destroy it in the process of making their income.”

The very livelihoods of rural households depending on shea nuts are threatened. This situation calls for greater efforts in the management, protection, and conservation of this tree. Despite the several socio-economic benefits from the sale of shea (both nuts and butter) and its impact on poverty reduction, it indeed seems to be a forgotten sector.

Got any great ideas to save the Shea tree from extinction? Share your idea with our community and comment below!

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