21 Sep 2015
Community Ecosystem Management Project (CEMP) in the Atewa Range Forest Reserve in Ghana
Enhancing Conservation and Livelihood Support Arrangements for Securing Atewa Range Forest Reserve
Scaling Up Actions for the Conservation and Livelihood Support Arrangements for Securing Atewa Forest Reserve
The project builds aims to further build key aspects of the management plan developed for the fringe communities including the ecotourism potential of Atewa to deliver co-benefits of conservation and livelihood enhancement. It feeds into a national level broad stakeholder empirical studies and consultation process to support the elevation of the management status of the reserve to a national park thereby developing its ecotourism potential by facilitating capacity and skills development of fringe communities to take advantage and constructively engage in the process.
Rufford Small Grants where communities were sensitized on the conservation values of Atewa Range Forest Reserve and supported to develop a management plan to guide the sustainable use of the reserve. It feeds into a national level discourse which will result in a decision on the long term management status of the reserve by building the capacities of selected fringe communities to engage meaningfully and in a non-destructive way in the management of the reserve thereby providing co-benefits of conservation and enhancement of livelihoods of the people.
The outcomes of the project are
1. A forest buffer zone created around Atewa Range Forest Reserve to protect the critically endangered flora and fauna species of Atewa, enhance livelihoods of fringe communities. This will translate to the raising and planting of more than 2500 mixed indigenous tree seedlings in off reserve areas. This will enhance the planting, protection and conservation of some threatened indigenous tree species. This will also create conducive habitat for survival and growth of some fauna species. This part of the action will be done with strong technical collaboration with the Forestry Commission of Ghana. Other co-benefits of income generation in the sale of trees when matured will enhance the livelihood of more than 120 households (from 4 fringe communities) and reduce pressure on the forest reserve.
2. A multi-stakeholder facilitated process that supports the development of the ecotourism potential of Atewa. This will involve tailor-made skill development of communities to improve their infrastructure and facilitate linkages with private and public institutions to take full advantage of the process to develop the reserve into a national park. This will help the communities to engage in meaningful and legal employment opportunities and reduce the pressures on the reserve
3. Communities sensitized to build on the fertile grounds created during the implementation of earlier project to increase the long term impacts of the project and also link issues generated at community level to policy advocacy at the national/district priority development actions. This will involve the provision of tailor-made information on conservation, benefits on general aspects of the project in user-friendly format to environmental clubs in schools which have been formed by A Rocha Ghana. This will inculcate the habit of nature conservation in high school children in order to contribute to the long term survival of Atewa.