Project Background

The project site is the only location in the high forest zone in Ghana to harbour a sub-population of the globally threatened Common Hippopotamus. It is made up of meandering loops of the Tano River fed by several small and large tributaries. Together with the mixture of hilly and flat terrain, these extensive riverine network offer excellent deep pools for refuge and extensive flat grassy and herbaceous vegetation beyond the riverine forest for food.

The hippo population has taken refuge in an area where they are not naturally known to the local communities. Most sections of the Tano River and its tributaries that are close settlements in the project area currently undergoing serious process of conversion of the riverine forest to unsuitable intensive agriculture, resulting in water pollutions, soil erosion and deforestation. Unfortunately, hippos have daily and seasonal migratory habits and move long distances to prime feeding ground.
This has resulted in actual and potential conflict with people through the crop-raiding activities; sheer fear of the huge size of the animals, or attempts by local hunters to shoot them for meat. Essentially, the universal fear and resentment from the local communities stems from a general lack of experience with such a large beast hitherto unknown to the area, and possibility of the hippos attacking and killing humans, or the hiring of hunters to kill them is high. This requires that urgent action be taken to ensure that (a) the hippos and the entire riverine ecosystem is protected and thrive in the area, and that (b) local communities benefit from the adoption of sustainable land used practices, including eco-tourism.

Furthermore, there is high pollution of the river Tano by illegal Gold Miners (galamsy operators), destroying the remnant forest, riverine resulting serious outbreak of diseases (e.g., Bilharzias, buruli ulcer)

The Ghana government (Forestry Commission) recognizes the importance of conserving Water bodies and forest biodiversity, and as such the UNDP Global Environmental Facility has assisted the government to prepare the National Biodiversity Strategy and action Plan (NBSAP) to meet commitments to the CBD as well as to ensure that the country’s globally significant biodiversity is fully considered in any natural resource. Prior to this, in 1994 the Government of Ghana initiated the National Forest and Wildlife Conservation Action Program, in conjunction with the World Bank / UNDP and subsequently, the Forestry Act (1994) was enacted to facilitate establishment of a sustainable Natural Resource Management Additionally, the Forestry Commission has developed CREMA Concept for good governance, transparency and accountability in the forestry sector, and to generate better conditions for landholders. The project’s primary objective is to help local people and government and non-governmental entities to manage and conserve Ghana’s extensive protected Areas. Ghana National Forest Commission through CREMA Concept has stressed the need to empower landowners to manage forest / sustainable and make land degradation less damaging and also encourage landowners to set aside biologically rich natural resource areas for conservation purposes.

In conformity to Millennium Development Goals (M.D.Gs) 7 requirement, the Forestry Commission and Wildlife Policy of Ghana in 1994, actively seeks the participation of all stakeholders (Local communities, Private sector, civil society. Etc), thus the formation of CUMMUNITY RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AREA (CREMA) concept in line with MDG Principles. Achieved through partnerships with government, media, donors, civil society, and the private sector, youth, women’s groups and Traditional Authorities. If the MDGs are to be met by 2015, well-coordinated efforts and contribution must be focused at the local community level, where the results are most needed. An extended involvement is participation of NGO, students and institutions, women and youth, as well as interested individuals into the processes will be a keystone in the process toward the achievement of MDGs in general and especially MDG 7


Communities along the Tano River Basin in Ahafo area in the Asutifi and Asunafo South District (A&ASD) of the Brong Ahafo Region are facing a steady decline in tree cover, crop yield, and hitherto perennial streams have become seasonal, leading to a general reduction in ecological and economic benefits from their agro-ecosystem. As a result, the rural people are generally resorting to land use practices that further degrade the land, and the youth are migrating in droves to urban areas for none-existing jobs in the face of growing unemployment.

Community forests are making a significant contribution to rural income and employment through NTFP trade. NTFP consists of all the products other than timber, fuel wood and fodder for the domestic purpose. Rural employment is also being generated for man and women (including the poor) through work in processing factories and self-employment is being generated through the collection and sale of raw material. Every year, between 10,000 to 15,000 MT of Non-timber Forest Products is harvested in the rural communities in Ghana. The value of these NTFP is approximately US$10 million per year (Edwards 1996). Most of these NTFP come from community forests which are handed over to the Community Forestry User Groups (CFUG).

The Project recognizes that enterprise development has a significant potential to transform the livelihoods of the rural poor. But also recognizes that this opportunity has been missed through approaches that emphasis income generation (through sale of raw materials) or rural employment (in existing enterprises that may be managed and/or owned by rural elites). With this realization in mind, it is embarking on an innovative programme for piloting enterprise development through a pro-poor entrepreneurship approach. If poor people are trained as entrepreneurs then they can be supported to lift themselves out of poverty through a change in their livelihood strategies.

Recent analysis of the status of forest-based enterprises in Ahafo Districts, between 2007 and 2008, identified a total of 36 operating enterprises (GGA, 2008). In Goaso Forest District alone, 14 species of Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP) were being traded in this period, of which up to 66% of the raw material supply came from community forests. Total based revenue was estimated as GH¢ 11,000.00. There is also significant trade in NTFP as raw materials, for which data has not been collected. This trade is likely to more than double the total revenue.

The poor are largely involved in the collection and sale of raw materials. In parts of Goaso Forest District in Ahafo, up to a quarter of the total household income is derived from the sale of non-wood forest products (Malla 2000, quoted in Scherr et al 2004). Community forests are therefore making a significant contribution to rural incomes and employment through NTFP trade.

However, recent studies in the Project area (TROPENBUS 2003a, 2003b) have shown that Forest User Groups (FUGs) are currently not getting full value in commercializing their resources. Local (Usually poor) people primarily benefit from forest based enterprises through employment opportunities as wages received for collection and transportation, while the FUGs are primarily receiving royalties rather than capturing the market value of the resource. Elites generally capture the benefits of products sold from Community Forests; for example, through Committee members selling timber (NSCFP are being harvested and whether this is sustainable

In the past, biodiversity conservation in area was seen as the responsibility of the State, although the traditional authorities had constituted traditionally protected areas (sacred groves) for religious and culture reasons. The traditionally protected areas are guided by traditional norms and regulations, which have, stand the test of time. Most rural Ghanaians depend largely on the traditionally protected areas for food, shelter, health, livelihoods and many other aspects of their existence. As a result, areas continue to be degraded and shrink in size. Some have even been converted into farm and other landuse. Most wild animal species are becoming increasingly threatened by the demand for bush meat, and the local populations who depend on wildlife resources are becoming poorer and poorer.

Ghana has adopted a Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), which represents comprehensive policies to support Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy in the country. Under the strategy, the government intends to create wealth by transforming the structure of the national economy to achieve growth, accelerated poverty reduction and the protection of the vulnerable and excluded within a decentralized, democratic environment. The GPRS focuses on providing the enabling environment that will empower all Ghanaians to participate in wealth creation and to partake in the wealth created.


3.2.1 Project Goal

To enhance the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and bring satisfaction and happiness to the residents of Tano River this project seeks to promote sustainable community development activities that will sustain the environment, increase food security and create wealth to generate income in order to achieve the millennium development goals

3.2.2 Project Objective:

The project objective is to enhance biodiversity conservation and promote sustainable land management in Tano River basin communities through the creation of Community Resource Management Area (CREMA), empowerment of local communities in NTFP livelihood support enterprises as well as strengthen community-based integrated natural resource management approaches.

3.3 The Project Rationale

It is becoming increasingly critical that the role communities in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation in Ghana should be widely acknowledged that the success and long-term sustainability of conservation initiatives depend on support and acceptance of such interventions by the local communities. It is also clear that local people will only support conservation initiatives if they see concrete benefits and improvements to the quality of their lives.

This project aims at supporting the strategic initiatives to support the GPRS by:

• Improving forest and wildlife resources through equitable sharing of management responsibilities and benefit flows to local stakeholders, especially the rural poor.
• Enhancing entrepreneurial skills development through bamboo handicrafts, Mushroom production and bee keeping production through Training of Trainers (TOT)
• Mainstreaming collaborative Resource Management (CRM), by promoting the rights of farmers
• Improving the communities a voice; multi-stakeholder involvement in management planning; and the establishment of customer service centres in all the communities to improve service delivery.
• Communities Forest Committees equipped with hand-operated machinery.
• Development of functional supply chains between farmers and the Self Help Group.
• Links established with the high-end tourism market.

The Fourth Operational Program Strategy of the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Program in Ghana intends to promote community-based initiatives that simultaneously conserve the environment and promote sustainable development through the implementation of local, community-based projects. The program seeks to encourage and promote community ownership and involvement in the management of forest and wildlife resources. Tano River, the proposed project area, is one of the few traditional areas in Ghana who have demonstrated commitment to take up a lead role in managing their natural resource heritage for the benefit of their people and the country as whole.

Global Environment Benefits
The proposed project would result in multiple global, national, and local environment benefits, within the context of sustainable development. These benefits would include:
(a) conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity
(b) prevention and/or control of pollution of major river systems from illegal activities and domestic waste
(c) prevention and /or control of degradation of watersheds through unsustainable land use practices
(d) improvement in carbon sequestration through improvement of vegetation cover
(e) provision of alternative economic livelihoods for communities in the traditional area;
(f) Rise in community awareness levels in environmental management and conservation.
(g) Provision of alternative livelihood enterprises
(h) Capacity building of key stakeholders and beneficiaries group


• Environmental education enhanced and capacity of traditional authorities and local communities in resource management developed.
• Tano River Community Resource Management Area enhanced, gazetted and managed.
• Agro forestry and Sustainable land management practices introduced.
• Processing of bamboo as livelihood activity initiated
• NTFP industry to benefit small-scale producers enhanced
• NTFP marketing by small-scale producers and their organizations improved
• A system to monitor and evaluate changes regarding the effects and early acceptance of innovations of projects strategies put in place.


Description of Project Activities

Output 1 Environmental Education and capacity of key stakeholders in Community Resource Management Developed

Planned Activities

1.1 Strengthen Environmental Education Programme in Tano River Communities.

The programme is aimed at sensitizing various key stakeholder groups on the importance of enhancing environmental protection in the traditional area. A number of community durbars led by the chiefs would be mounted to educate the people. Environmental informational materials, including billboards will be placed along major roads and strategic locations in 25 towns and villages along the 36 km stretch of the Tano River area. Posters and leaflets would be developed and distributed.
The highlight of the environmental campaign would be an annual environment week and environment awards. During the environmental week Nananom will tour towns and villages to raise environmental awareness. As an incentive to communities and individuals, the communities will instituted the following annual awards:
(i) Environment Town of the Year;
(ii) Environment Town Chief of the Year;
(iii) Environment School of the Year; and
(iv) Environmental Greening Ambassadors of the Year

In addition, the Tano River CREMA Association (TRCA) will carry out environmental education, create awareness in schools within the traditional area, and form environmental clubs in the schools. The TRCA will undertake regular visits to schools to give talks on environmental issues, organizes training for Teachers who are Club Leaders and annual camps for the Club members.
1.2 Form and train Tano River Environment Protection Ambassadors (TREPA): The TREPA will be a community-based voluntary organization that will be formed in each community under the chief to provide an avenue for direct participation of local communities in environmental protection. All the participating communities would be assisted to assist to establish TREPA with membership of not more than 11.
• Forest protection (stop and prevent illegal tree felling, prevent and fight bush fires, prevent illegal farming within forest reserves and promote tree planting)
• Protection of water bodies (prevent farming along river banks and streams, prevent waste dumping, enforce “no settlement along river banks” rule and education against and enforce “the no chemical fishing” rule);
• Wildlife protection through enforcement of hunting laws, and
• Activities to promote sanitation and environmental health
• Enforcement of CREMA constitution.
• Sensitize Galamsy operators to stop the illegal mining within the local communities


The aim of this component is to enhance the status of forest and wildlife resources in the Tano River Communities through better management and utilization, strengthening of the capacity of local institutions, and community groups to collaborate to conserve renewable natural resources in an integrated manner.

Planned Activities:
2.1: Using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) strategies, establish/strengthen CREMA Administrative structures (e.g. CREMA Executive Committee (CEC) and Community Resource Management Committee (CREMC). The project will support rapid assessment of status of biodiversity in key forest blocks with emphasis on species of local communities. Organize study tours to established CREMA. Send a team of traditional leaders and members of TRCA and other selected community members on a study tour of a successful CREMA pilot area to learn first information on the principles of CREMA.

2.2 Strengthen CREMA: Using participatory processes assist the Tano River Communities to survey, map and establish the boundaries of the CREMA to guide the restoration and sustainable utilization of the community lands. Through participatory approaches, assists the local people to determine that extent of coverage of forests within area, document the status of biodiversity in key forest blocks to provide the baseline information necessary for planning the conservation, management and sustainable use of these resources. Activities to be implemented under this component will include identification and demarcation of critical habitats, and documentation of the distribution and status of critical ecosystems (forests, water bodies, etc.

2.3 Strengthen CREMA Policy and Regulatory Reforms at the Community Levels. This activities to be supported under this component will include the documentation of indigenous knowledge and traditional conservation systems and evaluating their effectiveness as conservation tools; review of existing local publicities and regulations, identification of gaps, and updating them for approval by traditional authorities, District Assembly , etc.
2.4 Organize enrichment planting in five degraded portion of of the Tano River: The Environmental Brigades in Maheme, Kwaku Nyumah, Sienhem, Dantano and Dano Dumasi, Asuhyia would be assisted to re-plant degraded areas within their sacred groves.

Planned Activities

3.1 Develop a participatory land use plan that will promote sustainable forest and wildlife resource production and integrated agro forestry practices into existing and new farms. Through participatory processes, each participating community will be assisted to develop community land use plan and implement it.
3.2 Train selected farmers in Agro forestry practices: Twenty selected farmers would be trained and assisted to establish agro forestry farms in the project areas.
3.3 Set up community nursery and train the communities to manage them: The project will set up 2.ha community nursery in three communities. Five local members each would be selected and trained to manage the nursery on commercial basis.
3.4 Set up 2ha demonstration ecological farms in Kwaku Nyumah. The project will assists the communities to set up an ecological farm which combines tree planting with wildlife management as a demonstration farm for the community to learn.


This component would explore and support sustainable use options including processing of bamboos and eco-tourism ventures that would contribute to improving livelihood sources for the local communities.

Planned Activities

4.1 Identify and train trainers in bamboo processing. The project will select 100 people from the three targeted communities to be trained in bamboo, Mushroom and Beekeeping in the designated area – Maheme, Sienchem and Kwaku Nyumah respectively.
4.2 Set up of training Centers Support the establishment of bamboo processing centre in Mahema to be used to train the unemployment youth in bamboo processing. A satellite training centre will be established in Maheme to provide training people within that corridor. The building for the centre wills constructed/provided by the community whilst the project will be equipped centre with it simple tools and equipment for training. Each successful grandaunt will provided with basic tools to set up training centre in their villages.
4.3 Train farmers in the cultivations/propagation practices for alternation crops (bamboo, fruit trees, spices, roots/tubers, medicinal plants other NTFP)
4.4 Train farmers in Sienchem on bee keeping (honey extraction) and Mushroom production in Kwaku Nyumah.


Panned Activities

5.1. Conduct Supply chain and cluster analysis of NTFP;
Conduct survey (using data from previous point) to complete the database on NTFP resources
Identity resources of NTFP for small scale producers and the constraints to NTFP acquisition
Identity and analyze grouping, efficiency and networking of the NTFP industry at the community level

5.2 Conduct Value chain analysis of NTFP to identify constraints and intervention points

• Identify actors along the value chain of NTFP from growers to retailers and the role of target beneficiaries in all aspects of chain
• Identify and quantify costs and prices at each stage of the value chain; and calculate the net value added for each player along the chain
• Identity and analyze the leading firms, power relations and rules set up by the leading firms
• Analyze constraints for small-scale producers to beneficially participate in the value chain
• Develop policy and intervention scenarios that will distribute value addition activities more equitably

5.3 Develop multi-stakeholder processes to support the needs of small scale producers and develop a comprehensive strategy for NTFP industry

• Workshops to strengthen the structure of the bamboo handicraft/Bee Keeping/Mushroom industry and improve the participation and bargaining position of community members
• Workshops and facilitation on improving small-scale producers access to capital
Analyze policy impact pathways and develop policy recommendations for government that support the sustainability of bamboo handicraft business, Mushroom and bee keeping


6.1 Analyze the domestic and international bamboo furniture markets, marketing networks and premium markets for small producers

• Design survey; determine sample size and means for interviewing (questionnaire, internet email, web survey, etc). conduct survey and analyze the result
• Identify current and potential and premium markets for bamboo furniture, including market size, trends and networks
• Analyze constraints to access to premium markets by small-scale producers

6.2 Conduct workshops, facilitation and training to adapt to market demand and certification
• Provide information on market networks and certification processes (verification of legal origin, chain custody and sustainable forest management)
• Workshop to communicate market demand and certification; develop planning and agenda for market adaptation
• Develop and maintain an interactive website for collective promotion and marketing

6.3 Conduct workshop, facilitation and training to strengthen producer organizations and institutions
• Business management training and facilitation (organization management, proposal writing, capital access and negotiation etc) to overcome small-scale development constraints
• Inform small-scale producers and other key stakeholders of value addition opportunities and benefit distribution through case comparison studies.


7.1 Conduct Small scale NTFP producers’ livelihood survey
• Conduct livelihood survey including producer incomes, liability and assets and livelihood strategy
• Analyze data and devise scenarios that can improve livelihoods according the available strategy
• Conduct seminar to inform policy makers
7.2. Develop criteria, indicators and methods for change assessment and monitoring.

• Review on criteria/indicators and assessment and methods
• Conduct workshop on developing criteria and indicators for change assessment and monitoring
• Develop guidelines for changes assessment and monitoring

7.3 Undertake monitoring throughout the life of the project and feed result back to activities for each objective so that strategies can be modified.

• Conduct focus discussions at the furniture cluster level to assess the indicators of change in a participatory way
• Develop feedback pathways for each project activity to increase the impacts
• Summarize lessons leaned for each objective regarding its impacts
Publish regular project newsletter every four months
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Project Snapshot

Greening Ghana Ambassadors
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 24,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 7,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 150,000.00
Project Number:
GHA/SGP/OP4/Y3/CORE /2009/042
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Promoting Public Awareness of Global Environment
Form and train Tano River Environment Protection Ambassadors (TREPA): The TREPA will be a community-based voluntary organization that will be formed in each community under the chief to provide an avenue for direct participation of local communities in environmental protection. All the participating communities would be assisted to assist to establish TREPA with membership of not more than 11. • Forest protection (stop and prevent illegal tree felling, prevent and fight bush fires, prevent illegal farming within forest reserves and promote tree planting) • Protection of water bodies (prevent farming along river banks and streams, prevent waste dumping, enforce “no settlement along river banks” rule and education against and enforce “the no chemical fishing” rule); • Wildlife protection through enforcement of hunting laws, and • Activities to promote sanitation and environmental health • Enforcement of CREMA constitution. • Sensitize Galamsy operators to stop the illegal mining within the local communities
Policy Impact
Implementation of CREMA
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Number of globally significant species protected by project 5
Hectares of globally significant biodiversity area protected or sustainably managed by project 250
Number of innovations or new technologies developed/applied 3
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 3
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 2
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 50
Total monetary value (US dollars) of ecosystem goods sustainably produced and providing benefit to project participants and/or community as a whole (in the biodiversity, international waters, and land degradation focal areas as appropriate) 50000
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 80
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 200
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 400

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Ms. Lois Sarpong
+233 505740909


UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302
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