Livelihood Enhancement and Institution Building for Natural Resource Management on the Weto Landscape
The Weto socio-economic ecological production landscape, which is part of Togo-Akwapim ranges also known as the Atakora Range measuring about 14,863 ha, spanning over eleven traditional and three political and administrative areas in the Volta Region of Ghana; a narrow belt of ridges and hills in Western Africa. The ranges begin west of Accra capital city of Ghana and continue to the frontier into Togo and Benin. The area is inhabited by people with cultural beliefs which have guided the conservation of biodiversity and protection of ecological sensitive areas. The area has been classified as biodiversity hotspot of global importance; the landscape challenges are increasing habitat destruction, biodiversity loss and reduced ecosystem services; unsustainable farming practices; inadequate livelihood support systems and weak institutional capacity to support conservation and production; land degradation and widespread poverty. Generally, the use of resources in the landscape are unsustainable with increasing use of agrochemicals, cultivation of lands along river courses, streams are drying up, reduction of soil fertility, rarity and loss of flora and fauna, and increasing erosion; no concerted resource management action as well as lack of authoritative action concerning resource use, hence the need for activities towards resilience.
To promote resilient and sound socio-ecological production actions to conserve biodiversity, and also meeting the socio economic needs of project communities along the landscape, a participatory transformative strategy has been developed by Greenglobe Ghana; Accelerated Rural Development Organization (ARDO) and collaborating organizations as University of Cape Coast; Forestry Commission; Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana National Fire and Rescue Services and Volta Beekeepers Association. The long term objective is to see a conserved natural and semi-natural habitat and ecosystems services and strengthened institutions capacity at landscape level to realize the goal of integrating conservation and production in the management of socio-ecological production landscape, as well as a sustainable agricultural practices implemented in project communities, to ensure harmony in the ecosystem and reduction in poverty induced resource degradation.
The project will achieve the following objectives by the end of the project period:
- Natural and Semi- natural habitats and ecosystem services within the project communities are conserved
- Sustainable climate smart agricultural practices implemented across project communities on the landscape to revive and enhance traditional conservation and production practices and adoption of new technologies.
- Livelihood and wellbeing of target social groups within communities sustained and enhanced through the development of livelihood enterprises in line with local tradition and culture
- Strengthened institutional capacity at the landscape level to realize the goal of integrating conservation and production in the management of Weto landscape.
Natural Resource and Semi-natural resources and ecosystem services within the landscape conserved:
About 200 people trained to invest in sustainable land management as well as 6 institutions received capacity building to participate in natural resource management. To achieve this, landowners would be involved actively in discussion on identification of valuable natural and semi-natural resources on their land and what to do to conserve them. The capacity of the landowners and their tenant farmers numbering 200 would be built and supported to identify and implement innovative strategies, procedures and opportunities to invest in sustainable land management.
OUTCOME 2: Sustainable climate smart agricultural practices implemented across project communities to enhance and revive traditional conservation and production practices and adoption of new technologies.
Practical demonstration activities would be carried out in project communities by agriculture and extension officers on cash and arable crops and spices demonstration farms to be established by the project. Twenty (20) persons per community would be trained in special workshops to assist in technology dissemination in the communities in addition to the extension officers’ activities. In all, over 100 hectors of land shall be put under sustainable climate smart agricultural practices by individuals and groups, in all the communities in the project area. Cocoa, avocado and Citrus production would be used to promote biodiversity, while traditional crops grown in the area would be put on demonstration sites while new climate smart ones would be introduced.
OUTCOME 3: Strengthened institutional capacity at the landscape level to realize the goal of integrating conservation and production in the management of Weto landscape.
Capacity building would be undertaken for Traditional Rulers, Fire Volunteers, Faith Based Organizations Community Forest management groups and producer associations totaling ten (10) groups to participate in resource management. The environmental committee of the district assembly is a target beneficiary of this outcome. Also resource management clubs would be formed in community schools in the project area and assisted to undertake educational programs. Regular meetings and fora would be organized; issues on land, trees, animals, river system will be captured into bye laws and implemented. Training on value chain development approaches will be incorporated along the landscape
OUTCOME 4: Livelihood and wellbeing of target social groups within the communities enhanced and sustained through the development of livelihood enterprises in line with local tradition and culture:
The following activities would be considered to be intensified in the project area based on prevailing conditions;
- Establishment of micro-credit and village savings and loans schemes to promote investment to raise household income from the current level. This would be determined as part of project implementation.
- Beekeeping would be carried out at three demonstration sites involving the provision of 30 beehives per site. However about 80 persons would be trained in beekeeping and arrangements put in place to assist them in turns.
- One hundred (100) persons would be trained and equipped to undertake commercialize mushroom, and snails farming, piggery grasscuter and rabbitry.
- Establish a products/skills development center and revolving micro credit system.
- Documentation of lesson learned.