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Kwabre-Tanoe 
trans-border forest

Coconut, cocoa, cassava,
non-timber forest products

WAPCA
CSRS
CEPF


The forests of Kwabre in south-western Ghana (2,500 ha) and Tanoe in south-eastern Ivory Coast (12,000 ha) extend on both side of the Tanoe River.

They are home to an exceptional biodiversity with 1,800 endemic plant species, 31 bird species, 35 mammal species, and 49 amphibian species; they are also the last habitat of the Roloway monkey (Cercopithecus roloway), one of the 25 most endangered primates of the world, as well as the White-Naped Mangabey (Cercocebus lunulatus), and possibly Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus (Piliocolobus waldronae) which may already be extinct in the wild.

 

Major issues

 

These exceptional spaces are endangered by the deforestation associated with the large-scale development of cocoa, rubber tree, and oil palm plantations. Today, failing any formal agreement between the Kwabre (Ghana) and Tanoe (Ivory Coast) forests, an increasing number of people will venture into the forest to traffic forest products and bush meat. 

For several years, biologists are alarmed by the risks of extinction of the endangered primate species sheltered by these forests and have encouraged governments and the civil society to tackle this issue. Unless action is taken, the fate of these forests is at stake and the local populations will also become increasingly vulnerable.

 

 

The project and the prospects for change

 

The project will ensure the sustainable management of Kwabre and Tanoe forests by and to the benefit of local communities, by setting up alternative income-generating activities and strengthening the community-led governance structures (CREMAs).

Besides, the project will also launch the creation process of the first trans-border community-managed reserve to reduce the fragmentation of these forests, home to one of the richest biodiversity of the Upper Guinean Rainforest.

The specific objectives are the following:

  • Contribute to the development of sustainable economic sectors (certified organic cocoa, organic coconut oil, cassava and non-timber forest products). These green value chains will benefit to the communities by increasing their income and to the forests by decreasing anthropic pressure.
  • Ensure a better trans-border biodiversity conservation by (1) initiating the creation of the first African community-managed trans-border reserve with Ghanaian and Ivorian authorities; (2) strengthening the community-led governance structures and setting up a Conservation Fund to ensure their self-financing in the medium run; (3) planting trees of economic-interest to delineate the forest and create a buffer zone.
  • Ensure the capacity building of civil society and disseminate the project lessons-learnt.

 

Committed partners

 

Created in 2001, WAPCA (West African Primate Conservation Action) aims to conserve endangered primate species in Western Africa. WAPCA has supported the communities living in the surroundings of Kwabre forest in establishing a Community Resource Management Area (CREMA), a local governance structure aiming at ensuring a community-led sustainable management of natural resources.

On the Ivorian side, the activism of the association ACB-CI (Action pour la Conservation de la Biodiversité en Côte d’Ivoire), with the support of CSRS (Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire), has already protected Tanoe forest against a project of palm oil plantation. With the support of both NGOs, the communities have set up a community-led organization (Association villageoise de gestion) and have created in 2016 the very first community-managed Voluntary Natural Reserve in Côte d’Ivoire.

wapca2017acb logocsrs logocepf logo

 

To learn more about this project and its 2017 key achievements, please click on this link.

 

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