About 1,500 hectares of degraded landscape and forest reserves have been restored in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region through the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) approach.
Naba Kougbira Maaltinga, the Chief of the Yameriga community, who announced this explained that the intervention, introduced to the community in 2009, had also helped to address challenges of climate change in the area.
He said this when the Sustainability Head of ofi, Mr Kennedy Ntoso, donated 120 cutlasses to the beneficiaries of the FMNR at the Yameriga community.
The FMNR is an easy and low-cost land and forest restoration technique used to increase the number of trees in the field without necessarily planting new trees.
It is done through the protection and management of existing trees and shrubs regenerated naturally from tree rootstocks, stumps and dispersed seeds by animals.
It is used to sustainably combat poverty and hunger among poor subsistence farmers by increasing food and timber production and resilience to climate change.
The FMNR is being scaled up in many communities and jointly implemented by the Landscapes and Environmental Agility (LEAN) project and World Vision Ghana, with support from the European Union in the region and West Gonja of the Savannah Region.
The chief observed that the intervention was a more reliable, efficient and cost-effective approach to restore degraded landscape in the five regions of the north than the practice of tree planting.
He urged the government to as matter of urgency integrate FMNR into the Green Ghana Initiative to achieve maximum impact.
“As a result of the reclaiming of degraded land in the area, a lot of the communities are now enjoying its benefits, including fodder for their animals to graze, empowering herbalists to go into herbal medicines production, fruits and improving and increasing food security in the area as well as providing fuel wood for the communities,” he said.
Mr Samuel Abasiba, the Project Manager of World Vision Ghana in-charge of the FMNR, stated that the Yameriga community had become a FMNR hub and learning centre where a lot of development partners trooped in to learn and to practice.
He said due to the success story chalked by the project, it had been extended to many districts in the region, including Garu, Tempane, Bawku West and Kassena-Nankana West.
He said World Vision collaborated with stakeholders such as the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, Traditional and Opinion leaders to implement the project.
Mr Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, the Project Manager of EU LEAN, World Vision, said through a steering committee meeting organised by his outfit, some farmers from the West Gonja and Kassena-Nankana West Districts were selected to visit the learning centre of FMNR Hub at Yameriga in the Talensi District so that they could replicate the concept in their respective communities.
He said plans were far advanced by those farmers who visited the learning centre to implement the FMNR in 10 communities in the Kassena-Nankana West and 10 communities at the West Gonja Districts.
He said building on the success of the project, a consortium of four, namely Rainforest Alliance, Tropenbos Ghana (TBG), EcoCare Ghana and World Vision Ghana (WVG) with funds from the European Union (EU) were implementing the project titled “Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation – LEAN,” which will address some major barriers in selected landscapes across the savannah, high forest and transitional ecological zones of Ghana.