Create awareness on climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable land management.
The programme will impact on agro biodioversity program for the landscape
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
The project will cover some minority groups in the landscape that have been neglected.
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
The project will generate data on the current livelihood and those that the program can support.
Capacity - Building Component
Training local communities in mapping and identification of biodiversity
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
Village savings and loan scheme would be discussed at the stakeholder workshops.
Youth and women are part of the assessment and data collection.
Notable Community Participation
• Integrated Rapid Resource and Knowledge Appraisal (IRRKA): This is an emerging participatory natural resources assessment process of interacting with local people and stakeholders of natural resources that leads to trust and confidence building, and thus enabling resource users to fully participate in subsequent stages of project. The IRRKA is made of (i) desktop reviews, (ii) reconnaissance visits including familiarisation (iii) awareness creation, and (iv) using PPGIS for re-evaluation of intended techniques with respect to specific areas in question (e.g. vegetation type, resource use types, livelihood dynamics, ecotones, cultural setting), and the plan of action, (v) assessing capacity needs of local personnel and suitability of local stakeholders.
• Stakeholder Analysis: Stakeholder analysis will be used to identify all parties engaged in conducting the research, those who make or implement local level policy, and the intermediaries between them. It will involve clarifying the objectives of the project then next, identifying all the stakeholders or interest groups associated with the objective, project, problem or issue. Stakeholders can be organisations, groups, departments, structures, networks or individuals, etc.
Cross-cutting OP6 grant-making strategies
Based on the environmental scoping of the focal area and the national stakeholder consultation process, the following priority programmes within GEF focal areas would be implemented under the GEF-6 for Core and STAR allocations within the Black Volta land scape and the other preferred areas:
i. Biodiversity conservation – promoting community conservation and mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into agroforest and production landscapes within the Black Volta Basin.
ii. Climate Mitigation and Energy– promoting Sustainable Energy for All – [Low Carbon-Energy Access and improved wood carbonization] and reduction of GHG emissions in agriculture through Climate Smart Innovative Agro-ecology in the deprived areas of the Black Volta basin ecosystem
iii. Land degradation - improving the flow and resilience of agro-ecological systems to sustain livelihoods of local communities with the basin.
iv. Waste and Chemicals Management- increasing awareness in phase-out, disposal and reduction of releases of POP chemicals, mercury and other chemicals of global concern.
v. International Waters and Integrated wetland management – supporting the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves within relevant RAMSAR sites.
vi. Capacity development and knowledge management - to share best practices and engage in capacity development for local communities through: improving the technological and other knowledge systems for Community Landscape Conservation, Climate Smart Innovative Agro-ecology, Low-Carbon Energy Access co-benefits, and soil, land and water management. All new and or reviewed policies, program/projects and plans related to SLM will be subjected to the “sustainability test” based on the procedures of strategic environmental assessment (SEA).
Accordingly, the following cross cutting activities are envisaged to be funded under OP6:
i. Enhancing sustainable forest and agroforest landscape management for biodiversity conservation
ii. Community-based natural resources management (CREMA)
iii. Innovative agro-ecology models and mechanisms for conservation of carbon stocks in the savannah land use
iv. Promoting organic /climate resilient agriculture and food system for the savannah landscapes within the Black Volta basin.
v. Integrated Landscapes: Reduce pressures on natural resources from competing land uses in the wider landscape
vi. Improving the governance of land management decisions and secured ecosystem
vii. Reduction of GHG emissions in agriculture through Climate Smart Agriculture in the deprived areas of the northern savannah zone including Climate Smart Agriculture and food security in agroforest landscapes
viii. Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into production landscapes within the agroforestry and savannah landscapes in the Brong Ahafo and northern savannah areas
ix. Wetland management and mangrove restoration within RAMSAR sites
x. Sustainable land and water management – water storage, conservation, environmental enhancement and usage
xi. local certification of organic producers in vegetable
xii. mercury management in artisanal gold-mining and e-waste whilst creating awareness on the provisions of the Minamata Convention
xiii. building institutional and commercial woodfuel stoves,
xiv. low carbon emission transport systems in rural agricultural areas
xv. decentralized solar management for drying and irrigation
Landscape/seascape-based OP6 grant-making strategies
The target socio-ecological production landscape for the OP6 is the southern portion of the Black Volta basin which covers an estimated area of about 18,384 km2 (constituting 14 per cent of the entire Black Volta basin) as shown in figure 1. The targeted landscape spans over twelve traditional areas and four administrative districts in two regions namely Bole-Bamboi District (Northern region) and Banda, Jaman North and Tain Districts (Brong-Ahafo).
Strategic Outlook for Ghana under OP6
The vision of SGP Ghana during OP-6 is to address the underlying drivers of environmental degradation in the northern savannah ecosystem and the coastal savannah wetlands through cost effective service delivery and innovative programmes to innovate and achieve global environmental benefits at community levels. Accordingly, the prioritized strategies to achieve this vision are to:
• minimize unsustainable land use practices (especially by poor farmers and herders lacking alternative livelihoods) through:
- enhanced resilience in agro-ecosystems
- harnessing and maintaining ecosystem services for agro-ecological intensification
- promoting integrated management of production landscapes
- mainstreaming sustainable land management in sustainable development
• promote a mix of pressure-focused and driver-focused approaches by reducing the use of POPs chemicals in vegetable production and mercury in surface mining production and supply chains through:
- deployment of alternatives to harmful chemicals;
- giving continuous increase in the global demand for new chemicals, and focus research and development of chemicals and manufacturing of chemicals and products
• promote sustainable use of forest resources by addressing the drivers of deforestation to reduce the pressures on high conservation value forests. This will include
- enhancing forest management to maintain flows of forest ecosystem services and improving resilience to climate change through sustainable forest management.
- reversing the loss of ecosystem services within degraded forest landscapes through afforestation and natural regeneration; and
- maintaining forest resources, enhance forest management and restore forest ecosystems through the transfer of international experience and know-how.
• work with CSOs to develop knowledge that will have impact on key drivers and jointly create a platform for actions. This requires building synergies with researchers to make science-based solutions developing partnership government service providers and other international CSOs.
• integrate larger frameworks by linking the SGP work to identify niche in the development and implementation of national plans and strategies as well as national policy making. SGP scaling up will also be promoted through the use of SGP as a delivery mechanism for national or regional level FSPs where the programmes established structure and well proven systems can save on costs and time.
• create added value from GEF funds by being a catalyst for innovative environmental finance – augmentation of limited SGP funds through implementation of micro-lending or hybrid grant/micro-lending approaches to projects in partnership with established credit cooperatives and rural banks and also the private sector (for support in green investment, entrepreneurship and sustainable products marketing).
The objectives of developing capacities of SGP-Ghana as Grant maker + is to offer value-added activities to build capacity of communities and CSOs, foster greater impact, bridge gap between SGP projects and full size projects, facilitate dissemination and uptake of new technologies and approaches and communicate needs/trends and build social capital to increase resilience and impact. The strategic approach of towards grant maker+ activities is to build a network of stakeholders by strengthening the capacities of GEF-NGO network beyond grant-making.
The additional services and value that SGP will provide as a “Grantmaker+” will include:
• assisting stakeholders especially communities and local CSOs to develop relevant proposals as “Barefoot Consultants” to access non-GEF funds especially with bilateral and in the “direct access” modality of the Adaptation Fund and Green Climate Fund (present work, outside of helping raise co-financing, is mainly focused on access to GEF funds);
• setting up a “Grassroots Reach” communication channel for use not only by SGP but also by the government, GEF, other international donor agencies, and the private sector interested either as a business partner on marketing sustainable products or in CSR partnership;
• assisting in the establishment of a “CSO-Government Policy and Planning Dialogue Platform” (which could be in partnership with the GEF NGO Network); one transformational change that SGP had succeeded is in the trust-building that results from civil society and government joint work in NSCs and in projects such that there is increased acceptance by governments to civil society involvement.
• establishing a virtual barefoot training institute to train local people and CSOs in best innovative practices in sustainable agriculture, low carbon technologies, biodiversity enterprise development etc.
• repositioning the SGP as a mechanism for delivery and to participate in Non-STAR focal areas as and when the opportunities for these arise. Such non-STAR focal areas include: Chemicals, International Waters, Persistent Organic Pollutants, Corporate budgets and international funds like the Green Climate fund. Already SGP Ghana in collaboration with some CSOs is engaged in chemical and waste (promoting innovative and sustainable financing, creating awareness on the elimination of harmful chemicals and waste chemical management (POP elimination) and efficient management of mercury in artisanal mining). SGP has been creating national awareness on Chemical and Waste-POPs and Minamata Convention on Mercuryas part of Ghana’s obligation under the Stockholm Convention).
CSO-Government Dialogue Platform
The SGP Ghana has been supporting the GEF/NGO platform and intends to strengthen the capacity of the network under OP6. The strategic steps for the programme are:
• to build on the strengths and opportunities of the GEF/NGO network to develop a five year strategic plan to guide their operations in order to build on the trust and good working relations developed and to relay on existing mechanisms of CSOs involvement as well as GEF and SGP activities;
• to train GEF-NGO Network and other stakeholders on the use of different tools and methodologies available to manage and share information on relevant environmental conventions, create knowledge platform to share lessons learned among CBOs and CSOs. The target is to get CSOs to participate in major national dialogues and get represented in national and international fora.
In the past the SGP has been an active partner of the Government in policy formulation. SGP will build on this partnership by assisting the government to document the achievement of GEF in Ghana. It will also submit position papers to Government on certain policy implications that will emanate from project interventions.
Promoting social inclusion
Recognising gender equality as an important goal and priority for the country, the SGP will mainstream gender issues in all GEF/SGP projects to advance the global environmental benefits as well as contributing to the goal of gender equality and equity, and social inclusion. Special grants would be given to projects that will a) empower vulnerable groups through gender sensitive livelihood that strengthen the adaptive capacities of women to climate change; b) create awareness and build capacities for mainstreaming gender and develop strategies and mechanisms for mainstreaming gender including financial, economic and policy aspects, c) promote gender responsiveness in the management of natural resources under changing climatic conditions; d) enhance the economic empowerment of women.
The programme will formulate guidelines and strategies for mainstreaming gender in community level projects. Within the landscape, the program will develop policy, coordinate, execute and monitor projects and activities that relate to the wellbeing of women and children. The overall programme monitoring plan will have specific indicators that ensure mainstreaming of gender equality in all interventions. The programme will encourage gender budgeting at activity level planning to ensure equity in resource allocation. The human resource capacities of the grantees would be developed to facilitate the integration of women issues into the project activities. As part of the capacity building training for grantees, integrated and specific gender initiatives would be promoted to enhance the livelihood condition of women in the project area.
Knowledge management plan
The SGP Ghana vision for OP6 is to become a major knowledge center for community-based initiatives that address environmental problems at the local level while achieving significant global environment impacts. The key strategies to achieving this vision are to:
• develop a web platform that allows better knowledge capture and sharing, monitoring and evaluation the use of new media;
• systematize processes and create templates that facilitate data collection and community level for publication;
• build capacity for knowledge management at the local level through training and learning;
• Contribute to relevant knowledge bases and fora by increasingly forming a constituency of CSOs with capacity, motivation and systematic information flow;
• establish information exchange links with the national policy making bodies especially with Ministry of Environment Science, Technology and Innovation;
• establish partnerships to upscale and replicate successful projects and best practices;
• capture and disseminate the results, lessons learned and best practice from the SGP portfolio via different media by streamlining and strengthening the database, intranet and website to allow for knowledge exchange and sharing;
• provide guidance to the CSOs on how to capture and disseminate knowledge and conduct knowledge exchange at the local level to be aggregated at global level.
At local levels the strategy is to:
• standardize, capture and disseminate the results, lessons learned and best practice;
• organize consultations, training and knowledge exchange between communities and other key stakeholders;
• support demonstration sites and knowledge centers around successful projects;
• inform, contribute and influence local, regional and national policy with the best practices of SGP projects in the country;
• establish partnerships to upscale and replicate successful projects and best practices;
• participate in communities of practice;
• maintain database updated with the latest information on the projects
The knowledge management tools to be applied under OP6 are:
• Knowledge need assessment, mapping and audits: SGP will conduct a needs assessment to understand what information is the most valuable, how to capture it and how to disseminate it.
• Best Practices- the programme will continue to capture best practices at the local and global level, conduct case studies, and undertake publications and new media and sharing them at key national and international events and conferences.
• Coaching, Mentorship and Peer assist Programme- the programme will encourage mentorship as a way to capitalize on the knowledge of successful programmes to help train new grantees.
• Peer-to-peer learning-the programme will facilitate peer-to-peer learning between local communities and past grantees as an effective method to share knowledge, help communities learn from each other and as a tool for replication and up scaling of best practices.
• Centers of knowledge- the programme will set up technology and systems demonstration sites or centers of knowledge at project sites where SGP communities have demonstrated a technology or mastered a process and become a place where other communities, government officials, and development practitioners can learn about it.
• Communities of Practice (CoPs) - Communities of practice allows the organization to pool the collective ideas and knowledge of its staff to help build and institutionalize SGP’s corporate memory.
The main objectives for communication during the OP6 are:
• To ensure that all the lessons learned from the implementation of the projects are captured, analyzed and shared with key stakeholders to promote learning within and across communities and countries.
• To help replicate and scale up its impact, as well as to inform policy.
The communication strategies are to
• To publish quarter e-magazines on the project activities and circulate them widely;
• Encourage CSOs to initiate weekly radio programmes on topical issues on the environment;
• Publish annual case studies of best practices
The information to be captured and shared are:
• measurable impacts (change in average household income, job creation, revenues, livelihood diversification, livelihood/income diversification, market access etc)
• secondary benefits (investments into infrastructure, school fees, health care, disease control, etc)
• positive change in socio-economic conditions since the project/initiative began
• participation of women and indigenous people
• the measurable change in local incomes and job opportunities
• impacts the community/project has had on policy-making at different governance levels
• inclusion of community members in steering committees, advisory bodies
• change in national, municipal and local laws because of community activity
The project set up a “Grassroots Reach” communication channel for use not only by SGP but also by the government, and other international donor agencies, and the private sector interested as a business partner on marketing sustainable products. The project has maintained partnership with the University of Energy and Natural Resources, the private sector and the print and electronic press to sustain awareness creation on sensitive environmental issues. To develop the Black Volta basin as the main landscape target and waterscape conservation. The project has focused attention on:
• networking and strengthening community and civil society groups operating in the areas for constructive dialogue with government in national and district level environmental planning and policy development;
• implementing proven working models for further scaling up, replication and mainstreaming of new innovative technologies;
• increasing resource flow to communities and local CSOs through effective use of local assets and innovative environmental financing mechanisms.
• Building dialogue with the Local Government institutions. The project is rooted in participatory processes that stress on the importance of listening and learning. All the participating NGOs/CBOs are implementing the project with the full knowledge of the Local Government and Traditional Authorities. This has facilitated dialogue between the communities, government agencies, NGOs and businesses to address issues relating to land management. Most of the Government agencies are providing extension services and technical backstopping to the project and leverage additional resources.