TBI in Ghana works towards the sustainable management and restoration of the Juabeso-Bia and Sefwi-Wiawso landscapes through inclusive decision making and sustainable incentives involving local communities, smallholder cocoa farmers, the government at all levels and the private sector.
The Juabeso-Bia and Sefwi-Wiawso landscapes in the Western North Region of Ghana are mainly cocoa landscapes with some of Ghana’s highest level of biodiversity and relatively intact high forests in the adjacent Bia National Park and forest reserve. In both landscapes, expansion of cocoa farms into forested lands (both within and outside forest reserves) has been increasing in the past three decades. Next to that, illegal logging, illegal surface mining, and slash and burn farming have also been contributing to forest degradation in the two landscapes.
Cocoa farming (especially in non-shaded systems) in the landscapes are at high risk of climate change impacts because its vulnerability to changes in temperature, rainfall and prolonged drought periods.
Both landscapes are part of the nine Hotspot Intervention Areas (HIA) identified through the Ghana Cocoa-Forest REDD+ programme as areas where interventions for halting deforestation and restoring degraded forest are prioritized nationally.
We believe that halting deforestation and degradation in combination with climate-smart land-use and restoration, through inclusive decision making and sustainable incentives, will lead to resilience of the Juabeso-Bia and Sefwi-Wiawso landscapes, guaranteeing sustainable livelihoods of smallholder cocoa farmers.
What we do:
- Increase forest cover and the number of trees in the landscape, especially in cocoa farms and on degraded forest lands, improving attractiveness and reducing disincentives for trees on farms;
- Together with landscape and national-level stakeholders develop an inclusive governance model, with a focus on ensuring secured on-farm tree tenure rights to farmers;
- Stop encroachment by accelerating the implementation of a sustainable and climate-smart cocoa supply;
- Establish monitoring, evaluation and learning platforms to consolidate joint lessons learnt and to define common grounds for integrating deforestation-free cocoa standards (DFCS) in cocoa commodity chains;
- Design climate-smart practices that ensure sustainable diversification of crops and incomes of smallholder farmers;
- Develop financial incentives for land users to apply climate-smart models and facilitate access to credit and markets for farmers who engage in climate-smart practices;
- Facilitate access of women and youth to the climate-smart decision table and to build their capacity to effectively take part in decision-making processes;
- Support the legislation and upscaling of the Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) approach
- Actively engage local Communities with the government and the private sector on natural resource management
- Improve enforcement & monitoring of forestry, mining and logging laws and reduction of illegal practices
- Strengthen non-state actors to improve FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes in Ghana
- Together with CSOs lobby government and develop multi stakeholder dialogues on tree tenure reforms
Tropenbos International works in Ghana through its local network partner Tropenbos Ghana.
Tropenbos International has been operational in Ghana since 2000. In 2017, Tropenbos Ghana became a legal national entity of Ghana and a member of the Tropenbos International network.
In recent years TBI in Ghana has contributed to the successful implementation of the VPA with the EU, by focusing on the issue of the supply of legal lumber to the domestic market. TBI helped to establish and facilitated the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue (MSD). The MSD contributed to the development of a domestic timber policy and a revised set of legal instruments that spell out ways in which artisanal milling can be integrated into the formal economy. In 2015, the successful MSD platform on domestic timber trade was formally institutionalised through its inclusion in the National Forest Forum-Ghana. To contribute to the sustainable management of forests in Ghana, TBI also supported smallholder farmers in landscape restoration and plantation development projects, identified the needs and options for delivering forestry extension services and created the basis for designing a national forestry extension system.