Establishment of Communities Natural Resource Management Area of Abeadzeman Community in Mfansteman District of the Central Region
Establishment of Communities Natural Resource Management Area of Abeadzeman Community in Mfansteman District of the Central Region

The renewable natural resources of Abeadzeman, comprising forests harbouring a wide variety of globally important and unique flora and fauna, nationally important freshwater ecosystems, and diverse mineral and timber resources play a major role in the economic, religious, and cultural life of the Fantis. These important resources, however, are under threat from human-induced pressures, including over-exploitation and habitat degradation due to illicit logging and hunting. The area serves as the base for most illegal logging activities in the Central Region.

In addition to major economic activities like logging, sand winning and hunting, the local population who are mainly farmers use slash and burn farming methods for both cash and food crops grown under the bush fallowing land shifting cultivation system. In addition, crops that previously had little commercial value are gaining economic importance thus forcing farmers to intrude onto protected lands. Examples are oil palm, citrus and pineapple production has seen large tracts of the traditionally protected areas being converted into farmlands. New generation farmers who need additional lands increase pressures on available farmlands and moved on to fertile land in the traditionally protected areas.

Farming is by the slash and burn methods, with both cash and food crops grown under the bush fallowing and shifting cultivation systems. The average farm size of farmers is 3.50 ha2. Major crops produced include yam, plantain, cassava, maize, cocoyam, cocoa, oil palm, citrus and pineapple. With the slash and burn system, primary and secondary forests are cleared for cultivation, most standing trees cut down and burned, before the crops are planted, resulting in considerable forest degradation and loss of biodiversity. Unfortunately, due to poor farming practices farmers tend to complain of inadequate farmland. However the continuous slash and burn cultivation practice, which use to be practicable due to the small population sizes is no longer suitable for today’s expanding rural population. Even hill slopes are farmed.

Illegal logging pose major threats to biodiversity conservation in the area. Abeadzeman has a long history of economic dependence on the forest through timber and several timber concessionaires operate in the area. Economic trees in the area include species such as odum (Milicia excelsa), wawa (Triplochiton scleroxylon), African walnut and African redwood. The number of chainsaw operators has been increasing since the mid 1990s due to a vibrant timber Market in Mankessim.

Bushmeat constitute a major source of animal protein in most rural communities in Ghana. Certain species are considered a delicacy and are preferred over domestic meat while others are eaten as part of certain traditional rites. All varieties of wild animals are accepted as comestible, resulting in serious overexploitation that has led to very low population levels of all large mammal species. Large mammals in forest reserves and farmlands constitute an important protein source for all the communities. Interviews with the farmers and hunters indicate that different species of wildlife used to found in the area. In addition to the bushmeat, the area is well known for other non-forest timber products (NTFP’s) such as mushrooms and snails, which are heavily collected when in season and are sold at Mankessim market..

The Abeadzeman situation is a clear case of a traditional area with rich natural resources that are threatened by misuse and ineffective management, where national governmental efforts have not been able to contain the situation. The traditional authorities are keen to protect the resources for the survival of their people, but currently lack the capacity to be effective

2.3 Project Objective

The objective of the proposed project is to enhance biodiversity conservation and promote sustainable land management in Abeadzeman traditional area through the creation of community resource management area and promotion of community-based integrated natural resource management approaches.

2.4 Project Rationale

It is becoming increasingly critical the role of local communities in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation in Ghana. It is now 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.

In the past, biodiversity conservation in Ghana was seen as the responsibility of the State, although the traditional authorities had constituted traditionally protected areas (sacred groves) for religious and cultural 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 bushmeat, 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 in the county. 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.

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.
• Improving governance in the public sector such as participation, transparency and accountability.
• Mainstreaming collaborative resource management (CRM), by promoting the rights of farmers other marginalized groups building capacities and strengthening local organizations and institutions and
• Improving the community voice through the creation of a forestry fora network across the country to provide a space for interaction and give communities a voice; multi-stakeholder involvement in management planning; and the establishment of customer service centres in all the districts to improve service delivery.

Under the Third Operational Programme of the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, 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 programme seeks to encourage and promote community ownership and involvement in the management of forest and wildlife resources. Abeadzeman, 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 a 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) minimization of carbon emission from shifting agriculture and the use of inefficient wood stoves; (e) improvement in carbon sequestration through improvement of vegetation cover; (f) provision of alternative economic livelihoods for communities in the traditional area; (f) rise in community awareness levels in environmental management and conservation


1. Environmental education initiated and capacity of traditional authorities and local communities in resource management developed.

2. Abeadzeman Community Resource Management Area formed, gazetted and managed.

3. Agroforestry and Sustainable land management practices introduced.

4. Processing of bamboo as livelihood activity initiated

3.0 Description of Project Activities.

Output 1 Environmental education and capacity of traditional authorities in natural resource management developed


1.1 Initiate Environmental Education Programme in Abeadze traditional area:
The programme is aimed at raising awareness among various stakeholder groups of 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 information and educational materials, including billboards will be placed along major roads and strategic locations in 25 towns and villages in the traditional area. Posters and leaflets would be developed and distributed.
The highlight of the environmental campaign would be an annual environment week and environment awards. Dasebre Kweebu Ewusu VII and his Elders will institute an Environment Week, which will coincide with the annual Akwanbo or other important days. During the environmental week, Nananom including Dasebre will tours towns and villages to raise environmental awareness. As an incentive to communities and individuals, Dasebre 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) Brigade of the Year.

In addition, the Abeadzeman CREMA Association (ACA) will carry out environmental education, create awareness in schools within the traditional area, and form environmental clubs in the schools. The ACA 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 Abeadzeman Environment Protection Brigade (AEPB): The AEPB 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 establish AEPB with membership of not more than 11. Dasebre would be the patron. The mission of the Brigades would be to protect and preserve Abeadzeman’s natural endowment and to ensure that human activities are environment friendly. The Brigades' responsibilities and activities include:

• 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 educate 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.

Output 2 Abeadzeman Community Resource Management Area formed and managed

The aim of this component is to enhance the status of forest and wildlife resources in Abeadzeman 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 Compile baseline Information for CREMA.. Conduct feasibility studies into resource base; land and resource tenure; and local organisational structures in the Abeadze traditional area. Hold series of consultative meetings with relevant stakeholder groups to deliberate on the strategies to achieve the CREMA objectives, using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) strategies. Establish CREMA administrative structures (e.g. CREMA Executive Committee (CEC) and Community Resource Management Committees (CRMC). The project will support rapid assessment of status of biodiversity in key forest blocks with emphasis on species of conservation concern and species with socio-economic and cultural values, and documentation of the extent of dependence of local communities in Abeadzeman on natural resources.

2.2 Organize study tours to established CREMA. Send a team of traditional leaders and members of ACA and other selected community members on a study tour of a successful CREMA pilot area in. Amokwawsuazo, Pebase or Ankasa Conservation Area, to learn first information on the principles of CREMA.

2.3 Establish Abeadzeman CREMA: Using participatory processes assist the Abeadzeman Traditional Council to survey, map and establish the boundaries for Abeadzeman CREMA to guide the restoration and sustainable utilization of the community lands. Through participatory approaches, assist 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.) within Abeadzeman, including sacred groves.

2.4 Formulate CREMA Policy and Regulatory Reforms at the Community Levels. This activity is aimed at updating and revising the traditional policies and regulations to legitimize the CREMA. 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 policies and regulations, identification of gaps, and updating them for approval by traditional authorities, District Assembly, etc. This component would also support the updating of zoning and participatory land use plans for Abeadzeman as well as formulation of local by-laws that will regulate access to biodiversity resources and re-enforce traditional conservation strategies.

2.5 Organize enrichment planting in five degraded sacred groves: The Environmental Brigades in Taabuso, Kyeakor, Kwaakrom, Akyease and Onyaapa would be assisted to re-plant degraded areas within their sacred groves.

Output3. Agroforestry and Sustainable land management practices introduced

Planned Activities

3.1 Develop a participatory landuse plan that will promote sustainable forest and wildlife resource production and integrated agroforestry practices into existing and new farms. Through participatory processes, each participating community will be assisted to develop community landuse plan and implement it.

3.2 Train selected farmers in Agroforestry practices: Twenty selected farmers would be trained and assisted to establish agroforestry farms in the project areas.

3.3 Set up community nursery and train the communities to manage them: The project will set up 0.2ha community nursery in Dominase. Five local members would be selected and trained to manage the nursery on commercial basis.

3.4 Set up 2ha demonstration ecological farms in Dominase. The project will assist the ACA 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 30 people (one representative for each Environmental Protection brigade) to be trained in bamboo processing in two designated area – Dominase and Kwasilansa. The community that nominated will sponsor each selected person.

4.2 Set up of training Centre the project will support the establishment of bamboo processing centre in Dominase to be used to train the unemployed youth in bamboo processing. A satellite training centre will be established in Kwasilansa to provide training people within that corridor. The building for the centre will constructed/provided by the community whilst the project will be equipped centre with it simple tools and equipment for training. Each successful grandaunt will be provided with basic tools to set up training centre in their villages.

4.3 Train farmers in the cultivations/propagation practices for alternative crops (bamboo, fruit trees, spices, roots/tubers, medicinal plants other NTFP).

4.4 Train farmers in Taabuso, Kyeakor, Kwaakrom, Akyease and Onyaapa on bee-keeping, (honey extraction) and snail farming in two selected communities.

4.5 Assist women in Taabosom and Dominase in gari processing.



The Abeadzeman CREMA Committee (ACC), which is located at Dominase in the palace of the Abeadzeman Traditional Council Secretariat will have overall responsibility for the implementation and coordination of the project with technical input and support coming from the Global Habitat for Homeless, District Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Forestry Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, the Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS) and other private sector organizations. The project will provide technical inputs for the implementation of the proposed activities. A Project Manager will be appointed to be responsible for the daily administration, coordination and management of the project. He/She will report to the ACC.


A multi-stakeholder Project Steering Committee (PSC) will be established to provide policy direction and oversight responsibility for project implementation, and will ensure that funds are used solely for the purposes for which they were earmarked. The Committee shall meet every quarter to review project implementation. The PSC will be chaired by the Mankrado. The Project Manager will be the Secretary to the PSC. Other members of the project implementation Committee will include:

• Chairpersons of community environmental protection brigade
• One traditional chief nominated by the Chiefs;
• One representative each from the queen mothers from the; and
• Two female representatives from women interest groups.


A project account to be managed by the project Steering Committee will be opened with the Rural Bank with three signatories including the Project Manager. Quarterly financial reports would be rendered to ensure transparency in the project management.
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Project Snapshot

Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 30,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 33,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 28,800.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Capacity - Building Component
Community groups have been trained in basic forest management including silvicultural practices, nursery development, etc. Youth Groups are being trained in bamboo processing
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
Community natural resource management fund has been created.
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Abeadzeman Traditional Council

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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