World Vision holds regional dialogue on Northern Ghana Restoration Initiative


Tamale, July 23, GNA – World Vision Ghana has held a two-day regional dialogue on the Northern Ghana Restoration Initiative to discuss lessons on sustainable northern Ghana regreening intervention.

The dialogue, in partnership with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), ICRAF, and national and local governments with funding from the European Union, brought together stakeholders from the government, research institutions, private sector actors, non-governmental organisations, and local farmers to discuss and share ideas and lessons on sustainable northern Ghana regreening intervention to prevent an ecological calamity from befalling the region.
It was organized, under the auspices of the Regreening Africa Project, which is being implemented to enhance institutional partnerships and capacity to create a sustained approach to reversing land degradation in the northern part of the country.
It was also to highlight the Regreening Africa Project’s achievements in the country, review and discuss the evidence and experiences and implications and assess the institutional, scientific, and current practices, and actions that supported multi-scale commitments and large-scale land restoration among others.
The Regreening Ghana Initiative, which is being implemented in Bawku West, Garu-Tempane and Mion Districts in the Upper East and Northern Regions, and led by World Vision Ghana, is aimed at improving livelihoods, food security and resilience to climate change by smallholder farmers and restoring ecosystem services by scaling-up the practices of evergreen agriculture.
Mr Edward Akunyagra, Project Manager for the Regreening Ghana Initiative, who made a presentation on the project in Tamale, said it was using an integrated approach that included building institutional capacity, training local lead farmers, and advocating sustainable environmental practices at local, regional, and national levels to address issues of land degradation and forest restoration.
Mr Akunyagra said, “The project addresses pressing challenges of the savannah areas in Ghana such as acute and prolonged dry seasons, overgrazing (livestock pressure), rampant bush burning and careless tree felling culminating in declining forest cover, loss of indigenous biodiversity, and decreased soil infertility.”
He said over the last four years, the project had restored 123,086 hectares of land, planted over 200,000 trees, and trained 11,920 lead farmers and fire stewards in Farmer Managed Natural Restoration (FMNR) practices and bushfire management.
He added that 17,550 others were trained in composting and other conservation agriculture techniques throughout the project operational area, and 6,500 local people mostly women, benefited from Savings for Transformation initiatives.
He said, “As a result, 38,521 households have begun to practise restoration, 37,170 households have adopted and are practising FMNR, and 24,035 households have planted trees for the first time. This is increasing vegetation cover, food security and transforming the environment in the project-focused district areas.”
Mr Akunyagra said the project had also developed comprehensive business strategies for one strategic actor in each of the areas where the project was concentrated to advance the shea value chain to improve women’s incomes.
He urged stakeholders to collaborate for sustained Regreening Ghana Initiative and restore degraded lands and forests to reduce the impact of climate change on lives and livelihoods and also prevent ecological calamity in future.
Dr Mawa Karambiri, Policy Specialist, Regreening Africa Project urged farmers to incorporate trees into croplands, communal lands and pastoral areas with conservation agricultural practices.
Dr Karambiri said the project reached 401,297 households with restoration practices and planted 665,924 hectares of land with trees in Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Somalia.
She appealed to the stakeholders to sustain the efforts to restore Africa’s degraded lands and forests for an improved ecosystem.
Mr Stephen Yir-eru Engmen, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Northern Development Authority (NDA), lauded the project and said it was in line with efforts by the NDA and other state institutions to restore land health and tree cover while increasing food production and resilience in the northern part of the country.
He also lauded the dialogue session saying some of the issues discussed would feed into the Medium Term Development Plan being developed by the NDA to guide development interventions in the northern savannah ecological zone.


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