Friday, 19 July

Climate Change: World Vision's LEAN Project restores forests cover, empowers local farmers

Feature Article
Beneficiaries of LEAN

Climate change is a global challenge demanding global solutions, and developing countries like Ghana are already experiencing its severe impacts. 

The shift in rainfall patterns and increasing droughts have severely affected farmers, particularly in Northern Ghana.

Recognizing this urgent need, World Vision Ghana launched the Landscapes and Environmental Agility Across the Nation (LEAN) project under the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) programme to restore forest covers and build community resilience.

The LEAN project, initiated four years ago under the FMNR approach, has made significant progress in reversing deforestation and land degradation. 

Targeting 50 beneficiary communities in Kassena Nankana West and West Gonja, the project has rejuvenated forest cover and promoted sustainable agricultural practices among farmers.

During a recent programme learning visit to FMNR sites in the Navio-Samwo community in Kassena Nankana West District and Yameriga community in Talensi District, farmers, traditional leaders, and local volunteers expressed profound gratitude to World Vision and its partners for the initiative.

Mr Anas Abdul Nashiru Wechu, a lead farmer in Navio-Samwo in the Kassena Nankana West District, shared that before the project's inception, their lands were so dry that even grass for their animals was scarce, and they had lost valuable trees to bush-burning.

"We used to burn our bushes and forests for wild meat and fuelwood without considering the forest's importance and our contribution to desertification. 

After the project was introduced, we noticed that trees are growing back, and our forest is getting greener again," he explained.

Faustina Banakwoyem, a farmer from the Batiu community, also shared the project's success story.

 She noted that the initiative not only helped create a greener forest but also led to earlier rains, which are crucial for farming.

"The rains used to start in mid-June, but this year they began earlier than in the last two years. We also no longer struggle for fuelwood, as we have learned to manage our resources sustainably," she added.

Similarly, Fatima Boamani, a farmer in the Achubunyo community, West Gonja, expressed positive outcomes from the project and pledged to continue applying the knowledge gained even after the project's conclusion.

The programme learning visit brought together 160 participants, including project lead farmers, fire volunteers, landscape management board members, and selected decentralized partners from Kassena Nankana West District and West Gonja Municipality.

Abugri Joseph Talata, World Vision Ghana EU-LEAN Project Officer for Kassena Nankana West District, emphasized the importance of using the success at the two sites as a benchmark for further improvement and learning, and how to sustain the practices post-project.

Funded by the European Union, the LEAN project is implemented by World Vision Ghana in the Savannah landscape, EcoCare Ghana and Tropenbos Ghana in the Transition, and Rainforest Alliance in the High Forest Zone. 

This four-year initiative aims to conserve biodiversity, improve livelihoods, and reduce emissions from land use across Ghana's high forest, transition, and savannah landscapes.

Source: Apiah