About this book
It is a privilege to be asked and a pleasurable duty for me to write the foreword of this book. The conservation and wise utilisation of the humid tropical forests, a unique biome, are matters of great concern and importance to millions living within and around these forests and, perhaps, less directly, to the totality of mankind. These forests provide many essential products and services for mankind. The list is lengthy and need not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that there are not many aspects of human activity which do not utilise some of these products, services or derivatives therefrom. Yet it is the view of those most closely associated with the study of these forests that what is known is but a minuscule portion of whatthere is to know. The products and services now utilised, are perhaps some infinitesimal part of the full potential. All over the tropical world, however, these forests are being destroyed. At first, slowly, but now surely gathering tempo. This is true also of Ghana. Tracts offorest land are converted to other uses, often ephemeral and not sustained. Irreversible changes take place in our environment. The gains are shortlived, the losses unobtrusively accumulate and stay forever. The accelerating rate of deforestation, in the face of our relatively scanty knowledge of this biome, is indeed a sad reflection of the state of human affairs. It is in this setting that one welcomes this book by Messrs. J. B. Hall and M. D. Swaine.
ecology forest plants