FONAR Calls For Natural Regeneration In Fight Against Climate Change

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Blg Social Fmnr Nabdam
Blg Social Fmnr Nabdam

Mr Sumalia Saaka, Executive Director, Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR), a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) says the concept of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is cost effective in fighting land degradation and the challenges of climate change.
He urged the Government, particularly the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to mainstream approaches of FMNR into their Medium-Term Development Plans to re-green the degraded landscapes and forest reserves.
This, he said, would complement government’s re -greening efforts including the Green Ghana concept to fight climate change, improve agriculture productivity, ensure food and nutritional security and improve livelihoods of vulnerable communities.
The Executive Director made the advocacy at Nangodi in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region at a FMNR scaling up advocacy engagement with the district’s stakeholders.
The engagement was organised by FONAR in collaboration with World Vision Ghana with funding support from Tony Rinaudo, an Australian and founder of FMNR and his brother Peter Rinaudo.
Mr Saaka said farming practices, population growth and indiscriminate bush burning, and tree felling were fast depleting the country’s forest reserves and causing nutrient loss to the soil leading to low agriculture productivity especially in Northern Ghana.
He said it was estimated that about 40 per cent of Ghana’s landscape and forest reserves had been depleted, saying about 80 per cent of the total area in the Upper East Region had suffered from moderate to severe land degradation.
Also, about 16 hectares of tree cover had been lost in the region between 2000 and 2020.
The Executive Director noted that although some of the national re-greening strategies including tree planting were laudable, tree planting was expensive, and the survival rate was low as compared to the FMNR approach.
He said FMNR, which puts the farmer at the centre of the initiative, was less costly as trees and shrubs would be pruned to regenerate naturally without having to plant new trees and care for them.
“Just like we have harmonised our local government policies, government needs to take steps to harmonise our national land restoration strategies to effectively address issues of climate change.
“If our objective is to restore the productivity of degraded croplands with trees, then the foundational step is FMNR, which puts a part of the original perennial biodiversity back into the landscape, then you can add ‘companion tree planting’ when necessary,” he said.
Mr Jonas Dogbilla Bugre, the Development Facilitator, FMNR for Sustainable Economic Empowerment and Development project, World Vision Ghana, noted that apart from restoring degraded landscapes, the approach which involved community engagement helps to build resilient communities.
He stated for instance that between 2009 and 2019 when the concept was introduced in the Talensi District, about 67 communities had benefitted from the project and 750 hectares of degraded farmlands were restored.
Ms Agnes Anamoo, the District Chief Executive for the area, noted that the continuous use of chemicals by farmers and other mining activities in the area over the years had depleted the soil fertility and made it unsuitable for agriculture activities, adding, the FMNR approach would help ensure good farming practices to preserve the farmlands.
FMNR is an easy and low-cost land and forest restoration technique used to increase the number of trees in the field without necessary planting new trees but through the protection and management of existing trees and shrubs regenerated naturally from tree rootstocks, stems 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.

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