Mr Francis Gumah, the Northern Regional Operations Manager, World Vision Ghana, says climate change and loss of biodiversity are the two greatest threats to achieving food system transformation, poverty reduction and ecosystem restoration in Ghana.
The significant variation of the average weather conditions, coupled with the decline of biodiversity, was a major threat to achieving sustainable livelihoods in the country, he said.
He made this known in a speech read on his behalf at the inauguration of a seven-member Landscapes Management Board Executive Council, community volunteer fire squads and trained lead farmers at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
The fire volunteers, trained by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), and the lead farmers are to work in consultation with the Landscape Management Board to protect biodiversity, restore the vegetation cover and increase yields through smart agriculture practices.
The structures inaugurated formed part of an European Union funded Landscape and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) project being implemented by World Vision Ghana in two districts of the Savannah Landscape, Kassena-Nankana West, and West Gonja Municipal in the Savannah Region.
The project aimed to conserve biodiversity, improve livelihood of small holder farmers, increase climate change resilience and reduce emissions from land use changes in the Savannah, high forest and transition zones of Ghana.
A total of 500 lead farmers and 500 fire volunteers from 25 communities had been trained, Mr Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, the LEAN Project Manager, World Vision Ghana, said.
“This is purely voluntary work and so we have taken today to recognise them by giving them certificates and T-Shirts just to motivate them…”, he said.
The structures inaugurated were part of the World Vision’s tested Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) Model that sought to restore biodiversity and land degradation by regrowing trees from stumps with living roots through careful pruning and protection.
Alhaji Zakaria Fuseini, the Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture, said World Vision’s quest was to restore degraded lands in the Kassena-Nankana District to contribute to achieving zero hunger, improved nutrition, and protection of the environment among other things, which was commendable.
Divisional Officer (DO) I Richard Sagoe, Deputy Upper East Regional Commander, GNFS, urged the fire squads to apply the knowledge acquired to control, prevent and save the forest and farmlands from wildfire in their respective communities.