The Forestry Commission has organised a stakeholders’ validation workshop on the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project (GSLERP) to identify risks and impacts during implementation of the project.
The event, held in Tamale, was in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Shea Alliance and Green Climate Fund to propose mitigation and redress measures to serve as guide for stakeholders to take informed decisions.
Mr. Emmanuel Baapeug, Project Manager of GSLERP, speaking during the event, said the seven-year GSLERP Project being implemented in the five regions in the Northern Sector, was to contribute to the empowerment of individuals, especially women and other disadvantaged people to participate in social, economic, civic and cultural activities comparable to the national level.
He said the project, which was implemented last year, was to enhance economic activity in the northern sector, especially involvement of women in the harvesting and processing of shea nuts as part of poverty reduction.
He stated that the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) reports indicated that quarter of the citizenry were poor while less than 10 per cent were extremely poor.
Mr. Baapeug said: “Poverty is intense in the rural savannah with more than a quarter of people living there being described as extremely poor,” and the implementation of the project was also to involve women in decision-making in Northern Ghana.
He indicated that the project was intended to influence involvement of women in the implementation of the GSLERP, especially with respect to formation of community level governance structures, training programmes that would influence financial and social empowerment of women and plantation development and other land-use activities that involved decision-making and control over resources.
Mr. Edward Dwumfour, ESIA Consultant said the project would increase shea stock, which could attract potential donor support for development of the landscape to promote financial and technical empowerment for women in the rural areas.
He said the programme would empower women financially to support families’ payment of school fees, health care, provide for feeding and nutritional needs of the family for better lives as part of Improving the ecosystem.
Mr. Dwumfour said the project would help in the planting of more trees, which will serve as wind breaks, check erosion and also generate employment opportunities.”
Miss Doreen Asumang-Yeboah, Member of ESIA Consultant Team, noted that the project would be addressing child labour, child trafficking, child early marriages, and gender-based violence especially in the rural areas.
The GSLERP project is being implemented by the Ghana Forestry Commission (FC) with technical support from the Global Shea Alliance and the UNDP alongside multiple national and local governing institutions, civil society representatives and private sector actors, who will meaningfully and effectively participate in its further design, implementation and benefits.