The Ghana Wildlife Society has urged community dwellers in the Yilo Krobo District of the Eastern region to refrain from felling the Tabotela gentile plant for firewood.
The plant known locally as ‘Tokowannua’ in the Akan parlance is said to be critically endangered and difficult to grow its seed.
According to the Executive Director of the Society, Mr Eric Lartey, the plant is good for research and has essential nutrients to enrich soil for crop cultivation.
He however said the plant will become extinct if there are no efforts to protect it.
Speaking to Class News, he added that the destruction of the forest and the killing of animals such as marine turtle are not only inimical to the environment but also to ecotourism.
He said: “We are sensitising communities on the importance of protecting marine turtles along the shores of the West Coast. We are also teaming up with GHACEM of Tema in educating communities in the Yongoase area in the Eastern region on the importance of protecting vultures and tabotela gentiles from unwarranted destruction by the community members.
“Tabotela is an endangered plant which can only be found in certain places in Ghana and Tabotela area in the Somanya area is very unique, so, we are educating communities to desist from exploiting the wood for charcoal.”
Mr Lartey added that: “Natural vegetation has strong linkage with tourism and so protecting those areas in the long term will rake in the necessary revenue we expect from ecotourism.”