FLR IN GHANA- LESSONS LEARNT
    AND THE WAY FORWARD
          Dr. Dominic Blay
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
     ...
INTRODUCTION
•   At the turn of the century it was estimated that Ghana had 8.1 million ha of forest
    land (Ghartey, 19...
The ecological zones of Ghana

 Fig. 1: Condition of forest reserves in the High forest Zone of Ghana




Source: Hawthorn...
•   However forest resources in Ghana are very important natural resource because they provide
    ecological benefits inc...
•   Hence the government instituted the National Plantation Development project in
    2000.

•   Since then a number of o...
The key principles of Forest Landscape Restoration are that it:

• is implemented at a landscape scale rather than a site ...
• It is now currently thought that using FLR
  approach to solving the problems of forest
  degradation is more appropriat...
Review of policy and projects documents reveal the
       following lessons that need to be learnt:

These are as follows:...
• Almost all the strategies lays emphasis on the
  ecological aspects with very little on the socio-
  economic dimensions...
• There is also lack of policy and or legal backing
  at either the district or national level, for
  community based rest...
• This could be done by engaging them in planning,
  implementation and benefits-sharing arrangements .

• There is also t...
PROJECT DESIGN
• Project start-up workshops should be organized for
  stakeholders. Such workshops provide opportunities
 ...
• Projects must be planned to ensure
  sustainability of the benefits of restoration
  when project activities come to an ...
• Appropriate utilization of scientific background
  information (past research results on farmers’
  preferences for tree...
• Projects which are successful are those which have
  techniques and technologies to be simple and
  inexpensive (both in...
MANAGEMENT
• Capacity for almost all stakeholders in Current landscape
  restoration techniques is minimal since most proj...
THE WAY FORWARD
Policy

• Appropriate policies should be adopted that, among others,
  allow a paradigm shift in forest go...
• There should be equitable and transparent sharing of both
  benefits and costs because democratization enables local
  p...
• Most key factors which cause land
  degradation are outside the forestry sector ,as
  result FLR should be should be int...
• Thus reform of land tenure systems is thus required,
  but it must be based on a refined understanding of
  the socio-cu...
• With financial resources being a hindrance for
  restoration in most African countries regional efforts
  should be stre...
• Within a country, relevant institutions should
  have the capacity to widely disseminate
  appropriate knowledge regardi...
PROJECT DESIGN
• Restoration programmes and projects should
  involve local communities and other
  stakeholders in partic...
And this requires the fulfillment of these conditions,
  including:-

- A functional institutional framework at village le...
– Development of alternative livelihood systems based on
  forest micro -processing industries, including value addition
 ...
Management
• Reforestation activities should be preceded by
  creating or raising awareness of the
  stakeholders.
• Governments should develop national strategies and
  capacities to monitor the state of natural resources (including
  t...
Research and Training
• Countries should ensure that research is demand
  driven and considers community and socio-economi...
– assessment of the watershed protection ,carbon
  storage and biodiversity conservation potential of
  degraded and resto...
• The importance of adequate and precise information
  on natural resources for sound decision making and,
  especially la...
• Due to the continuing and increasing needs for skills to
  promote restoration of degraded lands and the challenging
  n...
•   THANK YOU
FLR in Ghana - Lessons learned and the Way Forward
FLR in Ghana - Lessons learned and the Way Forward
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FLR in Ghana - Lessons learned and the Way Forward

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Presentation by Dominic Blay on Forest Landscape Restoration in Ghana. Dominic Blay discusses what is needed with regard to political and institutional change for FLR to succeed in Ghana.

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FLR in Ghana - Lessons learned and the Way Forward

  1. 1. FLR IN GHANA- LESSONS LEARNT AND THE WAY FORWARD Dr. Dominic Blay Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), Kumasi, Ghana
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • At the turn of the century it was estimated that Ghana had 8.1 million ha of forest land (Ghartey, 1989). • At present, the total area of forest estates of Ghana occupies an area of 2.1 million ha with 1.8 million ha in the high forest zone and only 0.3 million ha in the savanna. • Outside the gazetted areas, an estimated 400,000 ha of forest cover still exist (off- reserves). • There are 266 forest reserves of a total area of 1,634,100 ha but analysis by Hawthorne and Abu - Juam (1995) showed that of the total area, only 90,000 ha is in reasonable good condition and the remainder is mostly degraded or has no significant forest left (Figure 1). • This degradation is more prevalent in the dry semi deciduous areas of Ghana.
  3. 3. The ecological zones of Ghana Fig. 1: Condition of forest reserves in the High forest Zone of Ghana Source: Hawthorne and Abu – Juam, 1995
  4. 4. • However forest resources in Ghana are very important natural resource because they provide ecological benefits including protection of watersheds, soils, hills and sanctuaries. • They also contain very many genetic materials of known and yet to be known importance. In addition local communities have high dependence on the resources for farmland, foraging, for food, hunting for meat, fodder and fuel wood. • There is also the timber industry, which depends on resources from the forest. The industry directly employs over 170,000 people with dependent families. • The industry also supplies the timber needs of the 20 million Ghanaians as well as being Ghana’s third most important export product after gold and cocoa. The annual value of wood exports is of the order of US$ 120 million FOB. Timber currently contributes 6% of GDP, earns 11% of Ghana’s foreign exchange, and provides about 30% of export earnings. • These forests are particularly important to the poor serving as ‘safety net’ providing emergency sustenance during crops failure, economic crisis and in conflicts situations. • Therefore restoration of the degraded forests was made a key component of Ghana’s 1994 Forest and Wildlife Policy and the 1996 Forestry Development Master Plan.
  5. 5. • Hence the government instituted the National Plantation Development project in 2000. • Since then a number of other projects have been implemented by different stakeholders including governmental agencies, mining companies, NGO’s and private individuals aimed at restoring degraded forest to productivity. • However, most of these projects have used the traditional restoration techniques whose main attribute is to increase forest cover rather than the holistic landscape restoration approach as defined by IUCN/WWF, which has social, economic and ecological dimensions. • The Forest Landscape Restoration approach looks at a mosaic of land uses including agricultural lands and forest types ranging from plantations to natural forests. • It might for example be used to help buffer a small and isolated protected area by re-establishing trees on surrounding land that, whilst having a range of social or commercial functions, could also help support native biodiversity.
  6. 6. The key principles of Forest Landscape Restoration are that it: • is implemented at a landscape scale rather than a site scale • has both socio-economic and ecological dimensions • addresses the root causes of degradation and poor forest quality (such as perverse incentives and inequitable land tenure) • opts for a package of solutions, which may include practical techniques for increasing forest cover at a landscape scale but also embraces policy analysis, training and research • involves a range of stakeholders in planning and decision-making to achieve a solution that is acceptable and therefore sustainable • involves identifying and negotiating trade-offs (IUCN, 2004)
  7. 7. • It is now currently thought that using FLR approach to solving the problems of forest degradation is more appropriate than the traditional techniques. • While there are policies and some field initiatives on some aspects of FLR in the country no studies had been conducted to review these to determine how far they meet the FLR process. • A study was therefore undertaken to review how far these policies as well as field initiatives met the concept of FLR.
  8. 8. Review of policy and projects documents reveal the following lessons that need to be learnt: These are as follows: Policy • In most Forest policy documents there are strategies on aspects on forest restoration • However Most of these strategies have roles and responsibilities that are oriented towards state institutions with minimal role for other stakeholders like the timber industry, farmers and forest fringe communities.
  9. 9. • Almost all the strategies lays emphasis on the ecological aspects with very little on the socio- economic dimensions including, acceptable and equitable benefit sharing, as well as livelihood and capacity building issues especially for local communities. • There is lack of democratization and decentralization in activities and programmes related to restoration
  10. 10. • There is also lack of policy and or legal backing at either the district or national level, for community based restoration initiatives. • There is the need resolve land and tree ownership issues before the implementation of restoration projects to avoid conflicts. • There is the need to involve all stakeholders. at all levels, village, divisional, district, regional and national in restoration programmes.
  11. 11. • This could be done by engaging them in planning, implementation and benefits-sharing arrangements . • There is also the need to share information and experiences. • Countries with similar problems need to share experiences and adapt approaches to local conditions. • Within a country, relevant institutions should have the capacity to widely disseminate appropriate knowledge regarding natural resource management.
  12. 12. PROJECT DESIGN • Project start-up workshops should be organized for stakeholders. Such workshops provide opportunities to discuss and clarify issues, which may compromise effective participation and commitment from all the actors, • Pre-project baseline data on local communities (socio-economic conditions) should be determined since such data are important to fully assess project impacts later.
  13. 13. • Projects must be planned to ensure sustainability of the benefits of restoration when project activities come to an end, to prevent the restored land returning to its pre- project condition. • Promises made to local communities must be delivered. Without delivering on promises to local communities, the motivation to work on community projects by local communities is reduced.
  14. 14. • Appropriate utilization of scientific background information (past research results on farmers’ preferences for tree species and on tree planting distance as well as judicious use of farmers’ practices and experience be used since such usage facilitates community based involvement in rehabilitation programmes • FLR projects which use high-value trees , improve animal fodder supply and include alternative livelihood activities are likely to be more successful than projects which restrict their objectives to the repair of biophysical degradation of soils and vegetation.
  15. 15. • Projects which are successful are those which have techniques and technologies to be simple and inexpensive (both in terms of cash and labour), and relate as much as possible to local knowledge and practice. • For Projects to be successful, local communities should perceive them to have a direct bearing on their livelihoods, i.e., the project is believed to have a clear potential to deliver tangible and short term benefits such as wood and non-timber forest products for human and livestock direct use and for income generation.
  16. 16. MANAGEMENT • Capacity for almost all stakeholders in Current landscape restoration techniques is minimal since most projects have until now being using traditional techniques. • Very limited use is made of local knowledge and experience in restoration processes. because of Technocratic arrogance’ and matching style of management by forest professionals which assumed that local people have no worthwhile knowledge in the area and local people have no interest in forest protection and conservation.
  17. 17. THE WAY FORWARD Policy • Appropriate policies should be adopted that, among others, allow a paradigm shift in forest governance from centralized to decentralized management involving local communities (community-based forest management or joint forest management) and other stakeholders. • Decentralization of forest control and management from national agencies to local governments also creates conditions that are more conducive to local input.
  18. 18. • There should be equitable and transparent sharing of both benefits and costs because democratization enables local people and others outside the forestry sector to slowly gain a voice in the management of public forests and in forestry planning and policy. • Also institutional reforms involving civil society and NGO’s should be formulated and implemented and that these should focus on empowering local communities, facilitating the set up of partnerships in the natural resources and providing them access to financial resources at national and local levels
  19. 19. • Most key factors which cause land degradation are outside the forestry sector ,as result FLR should be should be integrated into other sectoral strategies.. • An improved land tenure system would bring about land security and could encourage investment in land, promote higher land productivity and reduce the rate of land degradation.
  20. 20. • Thus reform of land tenure systems is thus required, but it must be based on a refined understanding of the socio-cultural conditions and local politics of individual countries. Land policies should be reviewed so as to enable families and communities to have secure and clear tenure rights.
  21. 21. • With financial resources being a hindrance for restoration in most African countries regional efforts should be strengthened to access GEF assistance as well as support from other bilateral and multilateral donors in supplementing country resources in rehabilitating degraded lands. Also countries, in collaboration with international institutions, should establish funds for rehabilitation, replenished partially by forestry activity revenues • There is a need to share information and experiences. Countries with similar problems need to share experiences and adapt approaches to local conditions.
  22. 22. • Within a country, relevant institutions should have the capacity to widely disseminate appropriate knowledge regarding natural resource management. • With the private sector being one of institutions that contribute to degradation in most African Countries their involvement in rehabilitation should be encouraged.
  23. 23. PROJECT DESIGN • Restoration programmes and projects should involve local communities and other stakeholders in participatory planning and implementation. • Local communities should be empowered for effective participation in restoration.
  24. 24. And this requires the fulfillment of these conditions, including:- - A functional institutional framework at village level to oversee planning, implementation and monitoring; - Capacity building of communities to enable them to implement projects; an encompassing benefit sharing arrangements which are endorsed by all stakeholders including traditional authorities and local community representatives.
  25. 25. – Development of alternative livelihood systems based on forest micro -processing industries, including value addition NTFPs, wood processing at the village level etc. trade and handicraft .This could ease pressure on land and offer opportunities to people to generate extra income. , Projects must be planned to ensure sustainability of the benefits of reforestation when project activities come to an end, to prevent the restored land returning to its pre-project condition.
  26. 26. Management • Reforestation activities should be preceded by creating or raising awareness of the stakeholders.
  27. 27. • Governments should develop national strategies and capacities to monitor the state of natural resources (including trees and forests) in order to plan for effective conservation and rehabilitation of the resources following defined targets and timeframes; • The importance of forests and allied natural resources in environmental protection, poverty alleviation and support to rural livelihood in the should be recognized and therefore integrated and sustainable management of the resources is strongly recommended; • Governments and development actors should identify and disseminate appropriate knowledge regarding natural resource management and conservation, and validate and promote local innovations and experiences;
  28. 28. Research and Training • Countries should ensure that research is demand driven and considers community and socio-economic conditions. • Research is also needed on: – valuation and socio-economic aspects of rehabilitated areas; – field trials of mixed tree/shrub species for rehabilitation of degraded lands.
  29. 29. – assessment of the watershed protection ,carbon storage and biodiversity conservation potential of degraded and restored landscapes. – potential impact of climate change on forest landscapes and the development of appropriate adaptations. – Training and dissemination of improved technologies for rehabilitation of degraded lands should be implemented in close partnership with existing governmental and non-governmental agricultural extension services.
  30. 30. • The importance of adequate and precise information on natural resources for sound decision making and, especially lack of such data on a wide range of aspects cannot be overemphasized. • It is thus recommended that proper mechanisms be put in place for data acquisition by putting in place mechanisms to share such results and lesions to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure formulation and implementation of more effective programmes, since research in Africa is far from complete but that relevant data exists in other regions within the tropics,
  31. 31. • Due to the continuing and increasing needs for skills to promote restoration of degraded lands and the challenging needs at national and international levels, it is recommended that national governments and partners should support formal and in-service training and, curriculum development including gender issues; • Due to the significance of dissemination of information and adoption of technologies to beneficiaries or target groups, it is recommended that governments and partners should support and strengthen extension and training facilities at research and educational institutions.
  32. 32. • THANK YOU

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