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The GLA in Ghana works in two forested landscapes: Atewa Forest Landscape in the Eastern Region and the Juaboso-Bia Sefwi-Wiawso Forest Landscape in the Western North Region.

The Atewa Forest is in the Akyem Abuakwa area of south eastern Ghana near Kibi and south west of the Kwahu Plateau, which forms the south western boundary of Lake Volta. It consists of a protected upland evergreen forest reserve and a surrounding buffer zone that includes closed and open forest canopy, grasslands and herbaceous areas, cocoa and other crop plantations, as well as rich deposits of gold and bauxite. The forest within the range functions as the source of three important rivers, the Densu, Birim and Ayensu. 

The Juaboso-Bia Sefwi-Wiawso Cocoa-Forest landscape has a good proportion of Ghana’s few remaining intact tropical high forests within the moist evergreen and moist semi-deciduous forest zones. Reserved forest in the landscape are the Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve, Bia Tributaries North Forest Reserve, Bia-Tawya Forest Reserve, Sui River Forest Reserve and Bia Biosphere Reserve. The reserves harbour many plant species including some of the most important timber species and species of special conservation interest. The Bia Biosphere Reserve is among the only three listed biosphere reserves in Ghana and is home to a number of primates and a good number of elephant populations. It also serves as a wildlife corridor between Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire. About 30% the cocoa produced in Ghana is cultivated by small-holder farmers in this landscape. Both landscapes have forests designated as Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBA).

The two landscapes are threatened by three main drivers of deforestation: planned Bauxite (Atewa) and (illegal gold) mining, (illegal) logging and forest encroachments for cocoa farming (both landscapes). The landscapes need immediate intervention and commitment from government, private sector, CSO and local communities to halt deforestation and secure their public goods by jointly addressing the principal drivers. These drivers are exacerbated in both landscapes by challenges associated with land and tree tenure, management and use. For example, the lack of a holistic and effectual land use plan for Ghana poses a significant challenge to the successful implementation of interventions that seek to limit unsustainable land use practices. Hence, land cover types have been greatly modified through unsustainable land use practices, with agriculture extending into forest reserves.

Local communities in the landscape are often neglected in decisions about publicly and privately led forest interventions. Women and youth are always relegated to the background during dialogue at the local level and by extension at the national level. Community monitors are threatened by illegal actors while being exposed by the public sector agencies who receive reports of illegalities.

Ghana programme

The Green Livelihood Alliance in Ghana aims to mobilize Local Community and Civil Society campaigns, capacity strengthening, and advocacy based on empirical evidence to create a social movement that defends forests and biodiversity, and supports communities to protect their environmental rights that reduce the drivers of deforestation. The program will campaign for climate justice, execute non-violent direct actions and participate in Ghanaian, regional and international movements that implement dialogue and dissent strategies towards local communities, public and private actors. We will achieve this by mobilising people and bringing together the knowledge needed to address complex governance issues for climate-smart landscapes through a landscape approach involving local communities, private, public and civil society actors.

Progamme partners

Tropenbos Ghana is a knowledge broker with strength in generating research evidence (empirical and action research), creating space for multi-stakeholder dialogue to inform policy and practice, building capacities of state and non-state actors, promoting responsible climate resilient business that ensures sustainable livelihoods of small holder farmers, women and youth, while promoting inclusive natural resource governance to inform lobby and advocacy through its network and coalition;

A Rocha Ghana brings strengths in supporting communities to defend their environmental rights, engaging and integrating ecosystem services in development planning as well as researching green development options that ensure nature protection and sustainable use together with lobby, advocacy and multi-stakeholder dialogue to promote these green solutions;

Friends of the Earth Ghana (FoE Gh) strengthens the voices of people about social, environmental and economic sustainability by building capacity for dialogue and through network building for change. FoE Gh campaigns for environmentally and socially equitable development targeting governments, institutions, businesses and industries with evidence and the use of the media for advocacy.