A boost for community resources management in Ghana

Sep 9, 2016

A certificate of devolution of resources management handed to CREMA executives

The Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana Project (ESP) has inaugurated the Ayum-Asuokow Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) in the Asunafo North Municipal Assembly in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

This initiative is expected to assist cocoa farming communities to adopt and implement good environmental practices that enhance natural resources management and cocoa landscapes in the area.

Speaking at the inauguration, Mr. Charles Abaka Haizel, a wildlife manager with the Forestry Commission said, the sustainable management of CREMAs depends heavily on the commitment and collaborative effort of communities. “CREMAs if well managed will contribute significantly to increasing knowledge of the natural resources in the area and help to improve economic and livelihood conditions of the people”.

Present to grace the occasion was the paramount Chief of the Mim Traditional Area, Nana Okoforobo Dr. Yaw Agyei II. On his part, the traditional ruler appealed to government, private sector and civil society to support the implementation of CREMAs for their sustainability. He was grateful to UNDP and partners for establishing the CREMA in the area

The ESP project is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Mondelez International’s Cocoa Life Programme. Since its inception four years ago, UNDP and COCOBOD have jointly supported 36 communities to enhance and manage the natural resources in the area through series of sensitization and training workshops that build the capacities of farmers. The project has also in the last two years distributed over 250,000 economic tree seedlings to farmers and community members in Asunafo Municipality to help increase shade trees on cocoa farms and enhance carbon stocks across the cocoa landscapes.

“Over the last two years, UNDP has been working diligently with Conservation Foundation, a local NGO, the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and the Asunafo North Municipal Assembly through the Environment Sustainability Project (ESP) to establish the governance structures for the CREMA”, said Ms. Rita Effah, a Programme Officer at UNDP.

The CREMA concept is an initiative of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission through which the authority to manage the forest and wildlife resources of an area is devolved to communities, land owners and land users. The CREMA concept therefore represents a profound policy shift that gives local communities the opportunity to manage forest and wildlife resources.

The Ayum-Asuokow CREMA which involves 36 farming communities in the Asunafo North Municipality with an operational area of about 21,574 hectares has been established to support sustainable management of forest and natural resources in the area.

The Asunafo North Municipality which was once endowed with a lot of pristine forests and wiildlife resources is currently confronted with the problem of massive forest degradation with a drastic loss of biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services.

The inauguration symbolizes the beginning of an unprecedented opportunity of the CREMA communities to sustainably manage and benefit economically from the natural resources of the area.

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