Enhancing Biodiversity conservation, Sustainable Land Management and Livelihoods Enterprise Development within the Maluwe CREMA in the Bole District of the Northern Region
Enhancing Biodiversity conservation, Sustainable Land Management and Livelihoods Enterprise Development within the Maluwe CREMA in the Bole District of the Northern Region
Large scale production of charcoal and collection of fuel wood for household energy and for commerce are practiced throughout the area, the collection of fuel wood for household energy being mostly practiced by women. There is also over cropping especially of cassava and maize grains, groundnuts which renders soil infertile by uptake of nutrients and trace elements without replacement resulting in poor crop yields. This situation is fuelled by use of poor seeds and short and exacting tenancies, there is also overgrazing by livestock mostly cattle. These practices have caused extensive deforestation of the vegetation of the project area and have resulted in soil erosion, formation of iron pan in the sub soils and a decline in soil fertility. A further inappropriate practice that causes severe land degradation is unregulated small scale mining (galamsey) leading to further deforestation and land degradation. Furthermore, there is massive unsustainable harvest of wildlife using fire leading to depletion in the areas. Uncontrolled hunting by bush burning and use of guns and other offensive weapons is a major cause of species reduction and exposure of the soils to destruction by the elements.
The loss of biodiversity and land degradation coupled with erratic long drought is causing severe hardship for many people who directly depend on the natural resources for survival. Women and children in particular bear the greatest burden in times of drought. According to a study during Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the Bui Dam, one of the key problems facing women is lack of money including lack of capital to allow them to start- up businesses and also lack of economic opportunities outside farming which is seasonal and small scale.
1.3.1 Project Rationale
Indiscriminate bush burning, uncontrolled hunting and unsustainable charcoal production are the main driving force to biodiversity loss and land degradation manifested by soil erosion, water scarcity, reduced agricultural productivity and decreased nutritional value of food crops. Biodiversity loss and land degradation coupled with long drought are causing severe hardship for many people especially women and children who directly depend upon the natural resources for survival.
The rationale for this project is therefore to undertake activities that will address these issues as a contribution towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals especially goals 13 and 15 and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 goals of reducing the direct pressures on biodiversity and promoting sustainable use and improving the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems.

Methodological approach
Meetings and workshops will be organised to introduce the project and issues of the environment. Participatory Rural Appraisal tools will be used to facilitate discussions, identification of problems and interventions. The communities would therefore commit to full involvement in project activities. Local community leaders will be used to facilitate the meetings. The communities will encouraged through such meetings to select their own representatives to form Community Management Advisory Committees (CORMACS) to oversee the management of the Community Resource Management Area and also serve as the platform for channelling support to the communities.

Relevant collaborators
The project would collaborate with the Bole District Assembly, the traditional authorities, the Forestry Commission (Wildlife Division & Forestry Services Division), the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Regional Intermediate Technology Transfer Unit to realise the project objectives.

The main objective of this project is to enhance biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture and livelihood enterprise development in the Maluwe- Banda Nkwanta CREMA in the Bole District of the Northern Region.

The specific objectives are:
i. To strengthen capacity of the local communities to manage biodiversity resources through the establishment of community resource management area (CREMA)
ii. To support farm-families to invest in sustainable agriculture through the adoption of soil fertility improvement technologies, other innovative strategies, procedures and opportunities to in sustainable land management.
iii. To support sustainable livelihood enterprise development as compensation for the conservation of ecosystem goods and services

The implementation of the project will produce three main results:

Output 1: Capacities of local communities within the project area developed for establishment of CREMA, biodiversity conservation, agroforestry, sustainable land management and conservation of natural ecosystem

The component activities will seek to develop institutional capacities at community levels to implement a management plan by ensuring sustainable management of land and conservation of natural resources for wealth creation, poverty reduction, and livelihood improvements. In addition, the project will support the promotion of sustainable land management (including conflict resolution mechanisms) and planning frameworks at the community levels

Output 2: Local communities within the CREMA ecosystem supported to rehabilitate degraded areas, invest in agroforestry, sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation.

The component aims at mobilizing the communities to secure existing natural and environmental resources endowments while creating additional stocks through sustainable land management practices, natural regeneration, establishments and restoration of vegetation cover as well as measures to prevent and control wildfires

Output 3: Natural resource-based enterprises and alternative livelihood support systems developed (Livelihood Development)

The project will provide support for diversification of sources of rural income and interlinked development of farm, natural resource-based that can reduce rural poverty. The project will therefore support the development of viable small-scale village enterprises that can be linked to harvesting, production, processing and marketing of non-timber forest products, such as honey and bee waxes and shea butter and dawadawa. The project will provide funds through the establishment of a revolving micro credit financing mechanism managed by the communities.

1.4. Description of Project Activities

Output 1: Community capacity in CREMA establishment developed and governance structures established.

Planned Activities
1.1 Assess the resource base to justify the establishment of the CREMA
1.2 Identify relevant stakeholders and working institutions to develop the CREMA governance structure and management structure
1.3 Set up the relevant governance structure at community, traditional council and district levels
1.4 Develop and seek a consensus approval or agreement for CREMA Constitution
1.5 Prepare draft by-law and seek approval of District Assembly for endorsement
1.6 Pursue recognition from the Forestry Commission.
1.7 Set up village savings and loan scheme (VSLC) in the CREMA communities.

There are no recognisable community biodiversity resource management structures on the ground. The project would therefore work with the communities to establish Community Resources Management Advisory Committees (CORMACS) as the functional unit of the CREMA. The CORMACS will be the platform for awareness creation on environmental issues as well the medium for channelling resources to the communities. The effective functioning of the VSLC will expedite the process of developing CREMA governance.

Output 2: Degraded areas rehabilitated and compatible activities within the CREMA undertaken

Planned Activities
Support 50 farm families to invest in sustainable agriculture and restoration of degraded lands

MoFA Extension staff will train 50 farm families in the project area to adopt sustainable methods of farming such as use organic fertilisers. It is expected that these farmers would also train other farmers in these techniques. Each farmer would be given support (technical and financial) through a community managed revolving micro-credit scheme for improved seeds ,land preparation and fertilizer to cultivate at least 1 ha of arable land for maize, vegetables, groundnuts and other cereals. The support would be repaid after harvest season and the money made available to new set of farmers. It is expected that this intervention will maintain soil fertility, increase yield per unit of land and reduce extensive clearing of trees for farm expansion.
Farmers would also be supported to incorporate agro forestry practices into their farming practices as a means of restoring degraded lands on the farms. Experience from other projects show that establishment of community tree nurseries will ensure continuous supply of seedlings to meet al kindly of demands. Farmers would be supported with tree seedlings of their choice for planting on their farms and degraded areas. It is expected that this activity together with natural regeneration will restore at least 50 ha of degraded lands.
Activity 2.2: Re-Claim the Maluwe Stream

The pioneer settlers were attracted by an initially constantly flowing stream which they named Maluwe which in Gonja language means ‘does not get finished’ which also became the name of the village. However, the once ever flowing fresh water stream which used to be the main source of water for the community and a home to some species of crocodiles, fishes and water snakes is now almost dried up and its bed taken over by water weeds. This is due to human activities such as land clearing for farming, bush fires, harvesting of fuel wood etc. along its banks. Today the community wholly relies on bore holes and dug out dams as the only source of water. The community will therefore be mobilised to restore this almost ‘dead’ stream by removing vegetation, de-silting the river bed and reforestation of the stream bank as well as the stream catchment area.

Activity 2.3: Introduce clean cook stove

Wood constitutes a ready source of energy for cooking. However its use poses serious health risks to especially women who use it to cook daily in open hearths exposing them to the escaping heat and all the noxious gases produced by the burning wood. Furthermore, there is also increased demand for more wood for any particular activity due to the use of energy inefficient appliances. This results in massive deforestation, forest degradation and exposure of soils to the elements.
Reducing the demand for wood in an area hit by deforestation requires the introduction and use of clean cookstove technology as a climate change intervention that would target especially women as they are the most vulnerable and also the environment. The project would therefore train the community especially 100 women in the use of energy efficient and clean cook stoves and introduce it to at least 50 households as pilot.

Output 3 Livelihood Development
Most community members depend on biodiversity resources in the proposed CREMA for their livelihood and it is expected that interventions that seek to enhance the livelihoods based on these resources would lead to sustainable management, improved incomes and enhanced livelihoods. To support the livelihoods the project would provide seed Resources (Technical and financial) to establish a revolving microcredit scheme that would be managed by CORMACS.

Activity 3.1: Establish Revolving Micro Credit Revolving Fund and provide financial support to women to improve processing of sheanuts, dawadawa and other biodiversity products

The Project will provide seed money which will be deposited with the local Cooperative Credit Union and operated as Revolving Credit Fund (Fund) based on the existing Village SuSu Credit Fund. The Fund will be managed by the communities by the CORMACS through passbook system to provide microcredit assistance to support the enterprises. The Cooperative Credit Union will provide technical backstopping. The recovered monies will be made available to others who require financial support. The communities would be encouraged to charge a low interest rate of 10% on all disbursements to generate some income to run the Revolving fund and also to cover some of the expenses such as transportation of the CORMACS.

Sheanuts and dawadawa trees are an important economic asset in the community; great majority of women derive their livelihood from processing the ripe fruits in to shea butter which commands a ready market. To prevent the destruction of the trees and the degradation of lands on which they grow it would be necessary to support more women to process these through a revolving credit funding mechanism to make them realize the link between their livelihoods and the protection of the environment. Resource persons from the Small Scale Business Enterprises Unit will train 20 women in modern sheanuts and dawadawa processing as well as simple bookkeeping. Other women who are involved in the harvesting and processing of other biodiversity products such as groundnuts would also benefit from the Fund.

Activity 3.2: Identify and train 20 farmers in organic honey production and provide equipment

In working to retain natural environments, it is widely understood that habitats cannot be protected without the interest and involvement of local people. Beekeeping offers a good way for people to create income from the natural forest resource without damaging them as it gives local people and the Government economic incentive for the retention of natural habitats.
Beekeeping is therefore an ideal activity in any forest conservation programme. There are substantial cover of existing forests and woodlands in the Maluwe Banda Nkwanta CREMA and therefore an opportunity for the production of honey. It is expected that honey production would reduce the impact of agricultural expansion into these community forests.
The project would therefore train 20 farmers in honey production as a pilot and provide equipment. Women would be encouraged to participate.

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Project Snapshot

Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 25,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 10,400.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 37,800.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
All forms of communications were relay in the local languages.
Linkages gef projects
Not yet
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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 500
Number of innovations or new technologies developed/applied 3
Number of local policies informed in biodiversity focal area 2
Number of national policies informed in biodiversity focal area 1
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 1
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 80
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 100
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 250

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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