Mr Sumaila Saaka, Executive Director, Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called for the adoption of Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) in schools as part measures to protect and manage the environment against destruction.
This, he said, would empower the children and instill in them the required behavioural change and knowledge as key agents to trees and environmental management to preserve the ecosystem and restore degraded landscapes.
Speaking at Tongo during the presentation of pruning tools to 15 primary school eco clubs in the Talensi District Mr Saaka noted that FMNR strategy had the potential to ensure food security and improve livelihoods.
The tools, valued at GH₵12,000.00 include 75 pair of kids wellington boots, 75 pairs of hand gloves, 75 cutlasses and 75 pruning knives.
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, stums and dispersed seeds by animals.
It is used to sustainably to combat poverty and hunger among poor subsistence farmers by increasing food and timber production and resilience to climate change.
Mr Saaka bemoaned the destruction of the environment, which had significant impact on climate change and said as part of measures to contribute to address the issue FOANR with funding from Awake Trees Foundation established 15 FMNR Eco Clubs and FMNR demonstration fields in primary schools in the Talensi District change behaviour of children towards best environmental practices.
Mr Saaka said FOANR had trained 30 eco clubs teachers including club patrons and coordinators drawn from the 15 FMNR eco clubs schools and the move was to guide the pupils to translate the practices learnt in the classrooms onto the field.
“Each school will also receive learning materials, that is, teacher guides, learning aids and environmental education videos, to support the delivery of environmental and climate change education as contained in revised standard based primary school Science, Religious and Moral Education and Our World Our People curricula,” he added.
The Executive Director noted that FONAR was working with communities, civil society organisations, local and national government agencies and international partners to the promote the FMNR practice through advocacy, education, research, community mobilization among others for adoption and mainstreaming into development policies.
“We believe it is critical to work with community members on environmental restoration and governance issues that affect them directly. After all, agricultural policies and technologies supporting on-farm regreening interventions for smallholder farmers are more likely to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable livelihoods when they are culturally sensitive, acceptable and feasible,” he said.
Receiving the items on behalf of the schools, Madam Christiana Azure, the District Director, Ghana Education Service, lauded the efforts of FONAR and its partners and urged communities to adopt the practice to restore the degraded landscapes in the area caused by illegal mining.
Between 2009 and 2019, World Vision Ghana implemented the concept in the Talensi, Kassena-Nankana West, Garu Districts in the Upper East Region and it has contributed significantly to reverse degraded landscapes and restored forest vegetation in those areas.
The concept which is spreading fast across 24 countries including Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swatini, DR Congo, South Sudan among others has contributed to improving upon the conservation of biodiversity, tackle climate change issues and livelihoods.