Restoring the Shea Landscape of Northern Ghana
Form International has developed a multiple year project to pilot the restoration of the Shea savannah landscape in northern Ghana. Main elements in the restoration strategy is to develop feasible and scalable models for tree planting and improved landscape management that integrate she and other trees on farms. Keys to success are production and distribution of high quality planting stock, good farming models, capacitation of local people in improved management techniques and set-up of nurseries to ensure local seedling production.
This Northern Savannah eco-zone is fast losing its tree cover, including highly valuable savanna woodland species (e.g. rosewood and shea trees) and wildlife, due to destructive charcoal production and unsustainable grazing and farming practices.
The nuts of the Shea tree (Vittelaria paradoxa) are the source of the valuable shea butter, known to be used in cosmetics, but used to a large extent in the food industry. Harvesting and processing of shea nuts is mainly done by local women, whereas the maintenance of the trees in agricultural systems is normally done by men.
The project aims to capacitate 40 communities in Northern Ghana and provide them with planting material and knowledge to restore their own landscape and agricultural fields to become climate resilient and productive through agroforestry.
2017 Project activities
The first steps towards a restored shea parkland landscape and a healthy ecosystem have commenced. A community nursery has been set up near Mognori, which will produce the Shea seedlings. In November and December 2017, Form Ghana and Form International staff implemented the first training of 40 communities in the North of Ghana. With the invaluable support of local NGO’s PAS and A Rocha, almost 800 people have been trained already and this figure is still growing. An important objective of the trainings is to identify challenges communities currently face. All communities acknowledge the need for planting trees, in particular shea trees, and the importance of trees in the landscape. Next to that, optional solutions and good parkland practices are identified and selected, based on the community specific needs. Following the establishment of a tree nursery near Mole National Park, more trainings and meetings will take place in coming years. Produced seedlings will be used to plant by the trained communities. This three-year training programme is part of the Sustainable Shea Initiative, funded by the Global Shea Alliance.
Current partners are Global Shea Alliance (GSA), IUCN-NL, A Rocha Ghana and Presbyterian Agric Services (PAS). Form is looking for additional donors to extend the activities.