|Categories||Communities, Forests, People|
|Date||29 Jan 2015|
Montonnso is a community protected sacred forest in Saamang stool land in Western Region of Ghana. It harbours numerous endangered fauna (e.g. West African Red Colobus (Procolobus badius), Diana Monkey (Cercopithecus diana) and flora (e.g. Afzelia africana, Entandrophragma angolense, Hallea stipulosa, Lovoa trichilioides) species.
Montonnso is home to water bodies which are key sources of drinking water for over 10,000 rural people within catchment areas. The community gain timber for local infrastructural development (e.g. school, community centre); medicinal plants and key source of livelihood for more than 4,000 people. Montonnso provides conducive agro-microclimate for cocoa production while absorbing carbon dioxide for climate change mitigation. The local people derive other bio-cultural, historical and spiritual benefits from Montonnso. However, the forest resources are being harvested at more than twice its sustainable rate. With the recent influx and proliferation of illegal timber loggers, small-scale miners and bushmeat hunters, Montonnso and its endangered biological diversity and associated benefits seem doomed to extinction if adequate conservation steps are not taken. However, there is no functioning conservation plan; lack of knowledge on the national forest and wildlife policies culminating in lack of local stakeholder capacity and empowerment to safeguard conservation and sustainable management of Montonnso.
The project will facilitate enrichment planting to contribute to restoration of the habitat for the endangered wildlife species and watersheds while serving as carbon stocks for climate change mitigation for global benefit. The project will develop community-based natural resources vision with harmonised ideas from different community stakeholder groups with Montonnso as key focus. A sacred forest conservation plan will be developed with rules and regulations validated and agreed by the local stakeholder groups and adopted as working local bye-laws for sustainable conservation of the sacred forest. With stakeholder dialogue processes and consensus building used as approach to develop the conservation plan, the local people will own and implement it. The result will be a Montonnso Sacred Forest conserved with no/or restricted cases of encroachment and illegal forest destruction activities. The local people’s (traditional authority, community stakeholder groups) capacities will be built on sustainable forest management and conservation measures, the national forest and wildlife policies/laws. This will lead to a well-educated traditional authority and local stakeholders, empowered and enforcing compliance to the conservation plan and the national forest and wildlife policies for long-term sustainable utilisation, management, active protection and conservation of Montonnso for benefits to current and future generations.
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Filling of nursery polythene bags with top soil.
Local volunteer team (LVT) transplanting seedlings to polythene bags.
Seedlings ready for transplanting, and LVT picking seedlings for planting in the sacred forest.