Restoration and Conservation of the Globally Significant Biodiversity Area in Tano Offin Forest Reserve through Participatory Forest Management Approach

9 Sep 2022 Tano Offin Forest Reserve, Ghana, Africa Communities | Education | Forests | People

Adu-Gyamfi Asamoah

The tropical rainforests of Ghana remain threatened through human activities such as agricultural and infrastructural expansions, illegal felling operations and wildfires amongst others. This has resulted in massive deforestation and forest degradation in many high forested areas in the country of which the Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA) with exceptional flora and fauna in the Tano Offin forest reserve is not exempted. The situation may be attributed to a number of factors. First, the natural forests serve as the main livelihood option on which forest fringe settlers depend. Second, forest fringe dwellers feel neglected with regards to management and governance of forest resources, therefore making them to be involved in illegal activities that destroy the forest estates. In this regard, it is imperative to remedy such situations especially in the GSBA in order not to lose such an ecosystem of international interest.

This project, thus, aims at restoring and conserving the GSBA in Tano Offin forest reserve through participatory approach that involves forest fringe communities, CSIR-FORIG and the Forestry Commission of Ghana. This proposal provides a detailed plan of activities required to restore and conserve the GSBA. The project is in four (4) phases. Each phase has specific activities or tasks to be implemented. The phases include:

• Phase 1: Initial assessment on plant diversity in the GSBA
• Phase 2: Identify and measure degraded portions of the GSBA
• Phase 3: Stakeholder engagements involving forest fringe communities, CSIR-FORIG and Forestry Commission
• Phase 4: Restoration of degraded portions of the GSBA by engaging forest fringe communities, CSIR-FORIG and Forestry Commission

The project is envisaged to be executed in a period of one year in order to achieve good survival of tree seedlings that will be planted. The plant diversity assessment will provide current information on the distribution and composition of the floral life forms in the GSBA, because such an activity has been rarely carried out in the area. It is estimated that the degraded portions of the GSBA which accounts to about 10 hectares will be restored by involving forest fringe communities, CSIR-FORIG and Forestry Commission of Ghana. It is therefore expected that the project will promote ownership, and inclusive management and governance of the GSBA among the forest fringe communities and other stakeholders for the conservation of the GSBA.

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