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Ghana - November 2019

RECONCILING COMMUNITY-BASED BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Noé is 18 months through the implementation of its three-year EconoBio project in Ghana which started January 2018 and is expected to end in December 2020. Working within a framework that contributes to biodiversity conservation and economic development for local populations living on the outskirts of three Protected Areas (Mole National Park, Kakum Conservation Area and Kwabre-Tanoe transboundary forest) in Ghana, the project has made significant progress towards the achievement of three main objectives.

The EconoBio project is a proven case of how combining community-based biodiversity conservation and the development of green value chains can protect and restore biodiversity and improve the socio-economic development of local populations.

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Contributing to the development of sustainable value chains

The project is successfully contributing to the development of sustainable value chains in and around the areas to be protected (cocoa, coconut oil, honey, shea, kombo nuts) with:

  • 5 value chains analysis conducted and business plans elaborated for each value chain to improve the supply chains.
  • A total of 3158 producers (1691M/1467F) have been organized in 50 groups and trained on best production practices.
  • So far, a total of 77,304 euros has been invested in facilities and equipment (mainly in the construction of warehouses for shea nuts, a processing centre for coconut oil, and the purchase of beehives and beekeeping equipment) to support the producer groups increase production.
  • Five partnerships are secured with the private sector (3 with The Savannah Fruits Company on organic coconut oil, shea and kombo nuts; with The Hershey Company and Ecom Ghana on climate-smart cocoa agroforestry and landscape governance, and with Yayra Glover Ltd. on organic cocoa) to strengthen the value chain and offer access to a fair market.

Supply chains are being improved generating additional income for the producer groups through premiums paid on the organic produce (coconut oil and shea nuts, and soon cocoa).

Improving biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources

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We are further improving biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources by communities. We work with Community Resources Management Areas (CREMAs), which are a community-based governance mechanism where communities are responsible for the management of natural resources. The CREMA holds the power to manage its natural resources after submitting a constitution to the local government authority.

8 CREMAs and their elected executives are continuously being strengthened through capacity building and development of management and governance frameworks to guide their day-to-day management of the resources.

  • A total of 389 CREMA Executives (284M/105F) are empowered to be in stewardship for the management of their natural resources.
  • 3 already established CREMAs around Mole have developed new management and annual workplans, whilst one defunct CREMA in the western fringe of Mole is being revamped, and two CREMAs have been created around Kakum.
  • CREMA Conservation Funds are being set up in the three landscapes to foster the contribution of various stakeholders and sources - including the developed value chains - to finance CREMA activities, with for now a total of GHC 254,550 (approx. EUR 43,350) in two funds (Mole and Kakum).
  • The CREMAs have been supported to nurse 60,000 seedlings of endemic species and planted over 30,000 seedlings so far in agroforestry, forest buffer zone and in degraded areas to contribute to efforts in curtailing the impact of deforestation.
  • 75 community patrollers have been trained and equipped in patrolling and biomonitoring – these patrol teams have conducted 1254 patrols and effected arrest of offenders and confiscated lumber which is significantly contributing to reduction in forest illegalities.
  • Within this same period, over 7000 people have been sensitized on sustainable environmental practices through environmental awareness campaigns and outreaches which is slowly translating into a shift in paradigm.

Strengthening the civil society players

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Noé and partners are further sustaining the model by strengthening the civil society players and by capitalizing and disseminating the project lessons learned.

  • In June 2019, Noé in collaboration with the project partners held a Multi-stakeholder Conference which offered practitioners the platform to [CR1]share lessons and exchange knowledge and skills on green value chains and community-based biodiversity conservation.
  • 3 Brochures on the project were designed and disseminated (Download brochures).
  • 8 Policy Briefs (derived from research conducted in the Kakum landscape by NCRC) have been published (Download policy briefs).

We are pleased to share these results and lessons and hope that our readers find inspiration from our work. We also fully acknowledge that these results are not without challenges. But our commitment to put in place the structures and support systems that sustains the planet, accelerate biodiversity restoration and greener supply chains including economic improvements has been worth it. We are even more determined to leverage on these gains for the next 18 months and beyond.

We are thankful for the partnership of our Civil Society and Private Sector partners and the support of our donors.

Civil Society Partners

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Private partners

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Funders

EconoBio Partenaires financiers

 

 

 

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