GLA Ghana

Update: We have two new stories from the TIMBY project. One is an outcome of the training that shows the Community Forest Monitors are putting their new knowledge and skills to good use and are supporting the Forestry Commission in their efforts to end illegal logging in Ghana’s forests, and the other reveals how John Bitar Timber Company is illegally felling trees on communities’ lands and farms and damaging their crops and livelihoods, and you can read all our TIMBY stories here.

Update: FoE-Ghana has been supporting the campaign demanding government to rescind its decision to mine the Atewa Forest for bauxite. Read about activities here. and more on A Rocha’s pages here and on their dedicated Atewa Forest website here.

Update: FoE-Ghana recently held a training for new Community Forest Monitors. The main GLA project educated them on Ghana’s forest laws while the TIMBY project trained them in the technical use of the app for capturing images and video and sending forwards for verification.

Update: As part of the GLA Ghana project, FoE-Ghana has been training Community Forest Monitors to use the TIMBY app and here is news of the first training session.

In Ghana, the Green Livelihoods Alliance programme focuses on lobby and advocacy at national and local levels. The two local landscapes we are working in are: Atewa Range in the Eastern Region and Juabeso-Bia District in the Western Region.

These are the outcomes we aim to achieve in the forested landscapes of Ghana:

  • Local communities adopt sustainable natural resources practices
  • Local communities actively engage the government and private sector on Natural Resource Management
  • Tree tenure has been reformed to make benefit sharing more equitable
  • Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) are supported by Ghana’s laws and scaled up
  • Improved enforcement & monitoring of forestry, mining and logging laws and reduction of illegal practices
  • National and local government integrate biodiversity, climate resilience and responsible natural resource management approaches into Medium Term Development Plans (MTDPs) and participatory land use planning
  • Agro-commodities production systems adopt and promote climate smart practices and landscape standards
  • Private sector adopts and applies sustainable commodity sourcing practices
  • Integrated land and water management is broadly applied

Outcomes and activities

The GLA Ghana programme also has many short-term outcomes. Following are the short-term outcomes and their activities that FoE-Ghana is contributing to in 2017:

Outcome 1: During 2017, other CSOs such as Civic Response, Nature and Development Foundation and Domestic Lumber Trade Association partner with FoE-Ghana in effective lobby and advocacy to demand good governance and participatory sustainable management of Ghana’s forests.

Activities: The main activity for this outcome has been to organise a workshop to build the capacity for CSOs for lobby and advocacy to strengthen our skills and improve our effectiveness for carrying out campaign actions.   

Outcome 2: By the end of 2017, the Parliament of Ghana has passed the Wildlife Resources Management Bill into law

Slash and burn yam farming encroaching into the forest

Activities: The main activities for this are raising awareness about the Wildlife Bill so we can increase pressure on government to pass it into law. The bill is a revision of Ghana’s existing wildlife and protected area legislation updated to also incorporate international conventions relating to wildlife that Ghana has ratified. It also integrates up-to-date natural resource management systems and best practices, and stresses the importance of involving rural communities in wildlife management. One important management mechanism integrated into the bill is the Community Resource Management Area (CREMA). Evidence to date suggests these are very effective for sustainable management of the forest and wildlife that also ensure benefits reach the local communities. CREMAs are also effective and economically viable alternatives to destructive forest logging.

The bill was first presented to parliament in March 2015, but by the end of the government’s term in December 2016 it had still not been passed into law. Now it awaits resubmission to Parliament so the consideration process can begin again. FoE-Ghana will soon be holding a workshop with other CSOs to raise awareness of the current situation of the Wildlife Bill and to come up with strategies to press for the bill to be passed into law.

Outcome 3: 20 CSOs in forest and environment issues have new knowledge of forest, mining and logging laws and are preparing advocacy actions demanding improved enforcement and monitoring

Gari processing in forest fringe community

Activities: For this outcome, we produced a booklet entitled ‘Ghana’s mining and forest laws: know your rights and roles’. Many communities are faced with illegal activities on their lands and in their forests, but they often do not know their legal rights, and they do not know when other actors (private, state, individuals etc) are breaking the law. The booklet aims to support communities to know their legal rights as contained in Ghana‘s laws, to know the processes that logging and mining companies must fulfill before they can operate legally, and to know when Ghana‘s forest and mining laws are being broken. This will help communities be effective in protecting their rights and demanding action when illegal activities are perpetrated on their lands. You can download a copy here: Ghana’s Mining and Forest Laws – Know your rights and roles

  1. 20 CSOs active in forest and environment issues are demanding tree tenure reform is in place by end of 2017

Activities: With our Ghana GLA partners, a CSO strategy has been prepared to guide action on demanding that tree tenure legislation moves to Parliament for approval. To support this process, we will also organise a workshop for a broad range of CSOs to build their capacity for effective implementation of the CSO strategy.

Forest fringe community