Ghanaian landscapes are marked by multiple and competing resource frontiers, from the cocoa-forests and oil palm belts in the high-forest zone (HFZ) to converging shea parklands and pastoral lands of the northern savannah.
Widespread mining and complex tenure arrangements overlay, and sometimes further undermine, efforts to design long-vision resource management plans.
With the aim to address these issues, the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has launched two new projects to support collaborative and multi-stakeholder approaches to landscape planning in Ghana.
Presented during an event held at the Global Landscapes Forum in Accra, these initiatives will operationalize the landscape approach and support better governance.
The first project, Operationalising the Landscape Approach for Biodiversity Benefit: Policy, Practice and People (COLANDS) is expected to close the gap between strong scientific theory about landscape approaches and weak implementation.
“This is a pioneering program, as its five-year time frame means that we can establish a long-term engagement by facilitating the use of landscape approaches, observing stakeholders – especially people living in these landscapes – and then reporting on the results”, said James Reed, CIFOR Scientist.
COLANDS aims to capture successful elements of landscape approaches to develop a scalable model for adoption elsewhere.
The second project, Governing Multifunctional Landscapes (GML) takes an alternative, jurisdictional approach to landscape governance at agro-commodity and resource frontiers.
“We are working through partnerships to mobilize multi-stakeholder platforms and negotiate jurisdictional priorities for forest protection and climate-smart agriculture for multiple commodities, including cocoa, oil palm, citrus, and rubber”, explained Emily Gallagher, CIFOR Scientist.
GML will convene platforms in two jurisdictions adjoining the Atewa Range Forest Reserves in southeastern Ghana: Kwaebibirem Municipality and Atiwa West District to build the business case and action pathways for climate-smart development.
COLANDS is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
GML is funded by the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development from the European Commission (DG DEVCO).