Underwater Logging in Ghana
Forget doubloon-heavy shipwrecks--trees are the new sunken treasure. The harvesting of submerged trees in Ghana's Lake Volta could reduce reliance on the country's tropical forests, which are currently being logged at the rate of 1.9 percent per year.
Robert Bamfo, the head of Climate Change at Ghana's Forestry Commission, announced recently that the salvaging of rot-resistant hardwoods such as ebony, wawa, and odum would commence in October. The underwater logging project will be carried out by CSR Developments, a Canadian company. CSR predicts that the project will employ 400 people and provide Ghana with more than $100 million in foreign earnings each year.
Over forty years ago, the construction of the Akosombo hydroelectric dam gave Ghana one of the world's largest man-made lakes, and the tree trunks protruding from the water served as a reminder of Lake Volta's previous life as a forest. Until recently, the trees were viewed as nothing more than a hazard to watercrafts. These days, in the eyes of some environmentalists and entrepreneurs, the flooded forest looks like gold.