A landscape approach to fire management – towards a fire-smart landscape in Ghana

A landscape approach to fire management – towards a fire-smart landscape in Ghana

Ghana - 04 July, 2024

In Ghana, approximately one-third of the high forest and transitional zones are susceptible to annual wildfires, causing significant damage to resources and livelihoods. Local communities often utilize fire in their daily activities for various purposes such as clearing land for agriculture, hunting, and charcoal production. Instead of changing practices when it comes to wildfires, we strongly believe in the importance of prevention and reducing the risks associated with them.

Tropenbos International together with Tropenbos Ghana has collaborated with Ghana National Fire Service, communities and other organizations to increase awareness and provide training on fire prevention strategies.

This includes educating farmers, hunters, honey tappers, and charcoal burners on practices to minimize the likelihood of wildfires, establishing fire volunteer squads within communities, and working closely with fire brigades, police, and government agencies. Additionally, efforts have been made to educate young people in schools about the importance of fire prevention and management.

These initiatives aim to empower communities to take proactive measures in preventing wildfires and ultimately protect the environment and livelihoods in Ghana.

The results of these actions are already making a difference in the Juaboso-Bia, Sefwi-Wiawso, Atebubu and Kintampo landscapes, in Ghana. In 2023, around 400 community fire volunteers were trained, and district and regional fire management committees were formed. These efforts, and the effective coordination between Ghana National Fire Service, district assemblies, traditional authorities and local communities has reduced the incidence of wildfires from 1,050 reported cases in 2022 to 513 cases in 2023.

To learn more about our work in Ghana, we invite you to watch the video and see how together with communities, we can reduce wildfire risk to save our forest, local livelihoods and lives.