World Vision Ghana (WVG), in collaboration with its partners, has launched the Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation project (LEAN), to help the government address land degradation and deforestation in the Upper East and Savannah Regions.
The four-year LEAN project, funded by the European Union, seeks to conserve biodiversity, build climate change resilience, and reduce emissions from land-use changes while helping local farmers to improve their livelihoods.
The project, which will be implemented across five regions of Ghana, covers the High Forest zone, Guinea and Savannah Ecological zone, and the Forest-Savanna transition zone.
Speaking at the launch of the LEAN project in Paga, the Regional Operations Manager of WVG, Mr. Timothy Aman-Bey Akanpabadai, said among the project targets is building the capacities of 36,000 farmers to reduce land degradation and deforestation through climate-smart agriculture and sustainable forest management practices that increase productivity.
He added that the project will also strengthen smallholder farmers to access market incentives and establish diversified income streams.
“WVG will be implementing the project in the Kassena-Nankana West District in the Upper East Region and West Gonja District in the Savannah Region. The LEAN project will complement the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration for Sustainable Economic Empowerment and Development, as well as the Improved Feeding among Adolescent Women to address malnutrition among children and increase household food security.
“Lands are being degraded, and food production is decreasing, and when we have nothing to live on, hunger is likely to be our major poverty issue. Thus, we need a strategy like the LEAN to ensure the food security and arrest environmental issues that we are currently facing,” he said.
The Kassena-Nankana District Forestry Manager, Emmanuel Owusu, said, although the forest cover continues to dwindle despite efforts to reclaim degraded and deforested areas, alternative fuelwood should be made available to rural households to end charcoal production.
“Even though the Forestry Commission is doing its best, the people also need fuelwood; they need charcoal to sell to make a livelihood. Can we keep blaming or stopping them while we have not provided them with alternative livelihood?”
Mr. Owusu also urged residents to embrace the government’s ‘Green Ghana’ campaign by securing more seedlings to plant more trees in order to minimise the negative impact of climate change and deforestation.
Other beneficiary regions are the Ashanti, Bono East, and the Western.