The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Solidaridad West Africa has organized a consultative workshop for stakeholders in the Forestry and Cocoa sectors in Ghana.
The workshop implemented under the Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana (ESP) Project aimed at improving modalities for the registration of economic trees in Ghana. ESP is leading the environmental sustainability component within Mondelez CocoaLife programme.
Present were representatives of the Forestry Commission, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, COCOBOD, civil society organizations and other implementing agencies.
On his part, Mr. Musah Abu Juam, the Technical Director at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources said he expected the outcome of the workshop to encourage farmers to plant more trees to address deforestation confronting the country. “I also expect this meeting to help harmonize processes for registering tree growers and beneficiaries of the scheme”, he added.
Even though appropriate laws and legal provisions exist to guarantee full ownership of planted trees, there are no clear, established procedures for registering the planted trees with the Forestry Commission. This serves as a disincentive for farmers and a concern for stakeholders that promote tree planting on farmlands to improve forest cover in the country. For most farmers, the opportunity to register planted trees as proof of ownership is a motivation for tree planting on their farms.
Mr. Oppon Sasu of the Forestry Commission and Mr. Tei Quartey of the Ghana Cocoa Board, jointly expressed the hope that the workshop outcome would help eliminate the apprehension and misconception about tree planting and ownership.
At the end of the workshop, participants agreed on the format of a standardized registration form, the registration procedure at the community and district levels and a road map for registering beneficiaries.
The Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana project has been established by the UNDP in partnership with COCOBOD as part of the Mondelez International Cocoa Life Programme.
It seeks to strengthen institutional setups and policies to promote environmental sustainability in cocoa production in the country.
Under the project, more than 800,000 economic trees seedlings have been distributed to more than 9,600 farmers to help increase the number of shaded trees in cocoa farms to reverse the trend of forest degradation in cocoa growing areas.
Thsi news article has been originally published on 12 May 2016.