Conservation Alliance, in collaboration with IITA has assisted farmers within the Bia Conservation Area in the Western Region of Ghana to raise over 10,000 indigenous tree seedlings to be planted out into the field.
This activity forms part of the GEF-FAO Trans-Boundary Project’s global environmental objective to establish a viable and sustainable Trans-Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) that links forest reserves and protected areas in and around Bia (Ghana) and Diambarakro (Cote d’Ivoire). The project, funded mainly by the GEF, FAO, the Governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, is being implemented by the Forestry Commission (Ghana) and SODEFOR (Cote d’Ivoire) and coordinated by Conservation Alliance.
The promotion of indigenous trees cultivation among fringe communities is to improve tree cover within the landscape and enhance the ecological health of the elephant corridor between western Ghana and eastern Cote d’Ivoire.
The growing demand for native tree seedlings led to the establishment of community nurseries at Nkwanta, Tiabenti and Benchima in the Krokosua Area. The community nurseries will supply the desired indigenous species to farmers to be planted on cocoa farms and degraded sites within the project landscape. This promotion of the nurseries is a direct consequence of the outcome of a pilot conducted by Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) under this project to explore opportunities for tree ownership among community members. While the first batch of 236 farmers who completed the tree registration exercise are awaiting the issuance of certificates from the FSD, more than 1,000 farmers have commenced the process of planting and registering trees within their farms and in degraded areas of the landscape.
The communities have already come to terms with the fast depletion of forest cover and its devastating implications of climate change. This activity has thus received massive support from fringe communities and the project is positive in achieving its overall goal of establishing a viable and sustainable trans-frontier conservation area that links forest reserves and protected areas in and around Bia in Ghana and Diambarakro in Cote D’Ivoire.