From reforestation to landscape restoration in Ghana
Whereas the forestry sector in Ghana is of great economic, ecological and social importance, forest resources are disappearing and degrading at alarming pace. The Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy (2016-2040) aims to restore forest functions in degraded forest areas and safeguard the sector’s economic importance for the future by planting 20,000 hectares/year of new forest over the next 25 years. The government of Ghana will implement the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy in close collaboration with the private sector. At the moment there is a small number of private companies working on plantation development in Ghana. Form Ghana has been asked to take a primary role in a pilot project.
Form Ghana has a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Forestry Commission and traditional land owners. The objective is to develop plantations in the Tain II Forest Reserve, which contributes to the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy. The Form Ghana model, the PPP with Forestry Commission and traditional land owners are the ingredients for a more ambitious pilot in integrated sustainable forest landscape management (ISFLM). The objective is to develop principles of sustainable forest landscape management and innovative concepts for collaboration, to be used by other partners playing a role in the implementation of the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy.
With the pilot, the focus has been shifted more and more to a landscape approach, offering new business opportunities through economic partnerships with other land users, and an integrated risk mitigation strategy, all necessary to counteract serious landscape problems such as bushfires, land degradation and unstable land use. Other benefits include increased financial stability for local farmers, improved land tenure systems and collaboration on conservation initiatives. A landscape governance structure, stakeholder engagement, effective outgrower systems for tree growing, smallholder support programmes for climate smart agriculture and the formation and strengthening of a farmer cooperative are tools and instruments that are targeted.
More on the Integrated Sustainable Forest Landscape Management (ISFLM) in the next edition of the Form international newsletter, in 2017.