Community-Based Enhancement of Carbon Stock through Wildfire Management and Afforestation in the Weto Range
Community-Based Enhancement of Carbon Stock through Wildfire Management and Afforestation in the Weto Range
The project addresses problems in climate change focal area that support the conservation and enhancement of carbon stocks through sustainable management of land use, land use change and forestry. The objective of the project is to help communities along the Weto Range improve their adaptive capacity to climate change, reduce their vulnerability and contribute to improving the resilience of the Weto mountain ecosystem.

Project Area, Specific Problems to be addressed and causes of the problems.

The forest resources in the Weto Range are being depleted at an alarming rate. The deforestation rate is 2.0% leading to an annual loss of around 135,000 ha. In addition to forest loss, the problem in the Weto Range is a gradual degradation, which is incremental rather than dramatic. Emission data indicates that Ghana is becoming a net emitter due to high levels of carbon emissions in the land use and forestry (LULUCF) sector to which the degradation in the Weto Range is a contributing factor. Since then deforestation, degradation and conversion of forest to other land uses is the major cause for increases in emissions in the LULUCF sector.
Another major problem within the Range is incidence of wildfires/bushfires normally initiated by the farmers in the attempt of clearing lands for farming activities.

Other practices that have contributed to deforestation and forest degradation are uncontrolled extraction of timber, game hunting and annual bush fires. The communities along the Range are worried at the rate of forest loss; even rodents such as grass cutter and rat are becoming scarce. The loss of the mountain forest cover is also implicated in the perennial drying up of rivers Kalen and Agbayi which take their source from the mountain and flows into River Dayi; a tributary of Lake Volta. The habitats for fauna such as small forest foliage frogs, birds, butterflies and insects were said to be very common are now rear. Timber species for commercial purposes such as Odum, Mahogany and Afram are also said to be rare. Some medicinal plants of great value such as, Corynathe pochyerus, Mittragyna stipulosa, Kigelia africana and Balanite aegytica are also reported by community as being less common. These were confirmed by the Regional Forestry Officer (personal communication) as being endangered. Some traditional spices such as black pepper which have high commercial value and serve as source of income for the community especially the women folk are said to be endangered in the community due to unsustainable use and annual bushfires. Other non timber forest products that are also affected include Ego (Thaumatococcus deniellii) and miracle berry which have an export potential as natural sweetening source for diabetic patients and in great demand by pharmaceutical companies.

The effect of removal of the forest cover indeed is reduced soil fertility and soil erosion. Farmers in the community who used to harvest between 7-8 bags of maize per acre can now get only 2-4 bags per acre of yield. This poor agriculture productivity and lack of other forest resources for food such as wild forest yams and game has given rise to food insecurity, low incomes and poverty in the community. This is considered as the push factor for the high out migration of the youth; one out of three to cities like Accra and Tema to look for non-existing jobs.
There is therefore, an urgent need to promote low carbon growth initiatives such as community afforestation (woodlot and plantation development) and wildfire prevention to help communities improve their adaptive capacities on climate change.

Project Strategy and Justification

In view of the above, the project will focus on community afforestation, effective bushfire prevention and strengthening local institutions to enforce community bye-laws on fire management it will also seek to support existing sustainable livelihoods for the communities with the aim to reduce poverty. The project will therefore adopt the following strategies:
i. Launch of Project: Launching the project marks an importance step in the life cycle of the project to communities. It will enable all collaborators in the project to interact with the communities and to serve as publicity for the project and to enhance environmental education in these communities.
ii. Building systems for prevention of wildfires: The strategy will involve strengthening local institutions, formulation of local laws base on communities’ land use traditions, developing new institutions and building their capacity to educate and enforce local laws. The communities will also have the opportunity to be educated on national climate change policy. The strategy will also include a capacity building training programme to be implemented within the communities to ensure that they have the ability and capacity to participate in fire management and formulation of fire management plans. Indigenous knowledge and practices in wildfire will be enforced and be integrated into the forest management systems. In participation with local communities, fire protection and management plans will be developed to cover the whole project area.
iii. Establishing community woodlot and plantations: The first step will be to survey and demarcate the planting sites with the full participation of local communities, Traditional Authorities, Stool Chiefs, District Assemblies and landowners. The next stage will be to develop community afforestation plans to cover all planting sites, again in participation with those same groups. Interested local community groups and individuals will be registered and organised into Working Committees and Working Groups to establish their own woodlots. Training and capacity building programmes will be prepared and implemented for specific groups, individuals planters and extension workers, staking out, planting and nurturing of trees. Training programmes will also be developed and targeted specifically at farmers to enable them to develop and pass on knowledge to other farmers about conservation and enhancement of carbon stock.
iv. Engaging in sustainable agriculture practices: Farmers in the community will be introduced to environmentally friendly agriculture practices. They will undergo training and receive support to practice it. This will involve bio-intensive vegetable production, zero tillage, and soil and water management practices, cover cropping and agroforestry techniques. To ensure that community do not continue with poor farming practices, the project will build their capacity and establish a demonstration farm for continuous education and practice.
v. Support existing alternative livelihoods initiatives: The project will also support the communities in existing alternative livelihoods programmes and train them to engage in business ventures so as to live off the forest.

Project Goal
To support the conservation and enhancement of carbon stock through community afforestation and wildfire management and prevention.

Specific Objectives:
i. To support the reduction of green house gases through management and prevention of wildfires.
ii. To enhance carbon stock through community afforestation (woodlot and plantation).
iii. To build communities capacity to support existing alternative livelihoods initiatives.

Project Rationale
The rationale for the project is to contribute to:
(a) The Government of Ghana’s vision of the National climate change policy to ensure a climate resilient and climate compatible economy while achieving sustainable development through equitable low carbon economic growth for Ghana.
(b) The Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II;
(c) The promotion of community participation in the sustainable management of forest and wildlife resources, as enshrined in the Forest and Wildlife Policy (1994)
(d) The Government of Ghana (GoG) is committed to tackling deforestation and forest degradation, especially as part of Ghana’s REDD+ strategy to deal with climate change. This is also the emphasis of the revised Forest and Wildlife Policy (2011), and other on-going processes, such as the VPA/FLEGT and the UNFF-NLBI, and
(e) The aim of the Forest Investment Plan (FIP) for Ghana is to address the underlying drivers of deforestation and catalyse transformational change by providing upfront investment to support the implementation of the REDD+ strategy, and generate information and experience for policy and regulatory changes.

Intended Results/Outputs and Activities:

Objective 1: To support the reduction of green house gases through management and prevention of wildfires.
Output 1.1: Education for community participation in reduction of green house gases through management and prevention of wildfires undertaken.
i. Educate communities on how to improve their adaptive capacity on climate change
ii. Build community capacity on effective participation in fire management and formulation of community fire management plans.
iii. Develop and implement systems for intensive bushfire/wildfire management and prevention.
iv. Support formation and strengthening existing fire volunteer squads.

Objective 2: To enhance carbon stock through community afforestation (woodlot and plantation).
Output 2.1: Community afforestation (woodlot and plantantion) established to enhance carbon stock
i. Organise community fora in project area on climate change mitigation.
ii. Build capacity of community institutions and schools on community afforestation (woodlot and plantation development)
iii. Establish a multipurpose woodlot

Objective 3: To build communities capacity to support existing alternative livelihoods initiatives.
Output 3.1: Capacity of communities enhanced on existing alternative livelihood initiatives.
i. Establish agro-forestry farms with interested farmers
ii. Support existing alternative livelihood initiatives
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Project Snapshot

Youth Employment Network Ghana
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 22,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 12,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 20,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Capacity - Building Component
Capacity of communities built on effective participation in fire management and formulation of community fire management plans. Existing fire volunteer squads strengthened
Notable Community Participation
The project will collaborate with district offices of the Extension Services, Volta regional offices of Wildlife and Forestry Divisions, Environmental Protection Agency, Volta Regional Fire Service as well as district offices of the Ghana National Fire Service, Traditional leaders in the community and the various District and Municipal assembly. These will be part of the Project Implementation Committee where they can contribute their technical knowledge to enhance the successful implementation of the project
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Tonnes of CO2 decreased or avoided by energy efficient and renewable energy technologies or applying environmentally sustainable transport practices introduced by SGP Project 500
Number of innovations or new technologies developed / applied 3
Number of local policies informed in climate change focal area 1
Number of national policies informed in climate change focal area 1
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 2
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 10
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 300
Innovative financial mechanisms put in place through SGP project 2
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 50
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 200
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 1000

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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