World Vision Ghana, a Christian relief organisation has inaugurated a seven-member Landscapes Management Board (LMB) Executive Council, community volunteer squads and trained lead farmers at the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region. The Landscape Management Board is expected to play a coordination role in safeguarding the environment by working with all respective departments as watchdog committees and reporting malpractices on the environment to the appropriate authorities. It formed part of the European Union-funded Landscape and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) project being implemented by a consortium of four organizations, including, World Vision Ghana, Rainforest Alliance, Tropenbos Ghana and EcoCare Ghana. The project aims to directly contribute to the national efforts at conserving biodiversity, improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers, increasing climate change resilience and reducing emissions from land use changes in the Savannah, high forest and transition zones of Ghana. It would also support the establishment of strong, long-lasting, and socially inclusive landscape governance structures in three priority areas. Mr Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, the LEAN Project Manager, World Vision Ghana, speaking at the inauguration, indicated that the event was in recognition of the efforts of some of the structures it had established under the project which formed part of its Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) model. He noted that the FMNR model was key in restoring biodiversity and protecting the fragile forest cover that the country was left with. Mr Yelkabong said the project which began in May 2021, had trained 500 lead farmers and 500 fire volunteers from 25 communities, to help control wildfires in their respective communities to protect biodiversity, restore the vegetation cover and increase yields through smart agriculture practices. ‘In all what we do, our biggest threat in the savannah landscape is bushfires and normally all our investment go down the drain when bushfires rise down our farms and sometimes lives and properties are lost so we think that training them to be able to control wildfires is a step in the right direction to ensuring that we are safeguarding our investment and also conserving biodiversity’, he added. Mr Francis Gumah, the Northern Regional Operations Manager, World Vision Ghana, in a speech read on his behalf, said the organisation was dedicated to working with children, families and communities all over the world, to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the kingdom of God. For the past decades, he said World Vision Ghana, had worked with 445 communities in Upper East and Northern Regions to restore 77,898 hectares of degraded lands making the communities more resilient. Mr Gumah said the LEAN project had also built the capacities of 4,856 community members to cope with the consequences of climate change against a target of 6,000 at the Kassena-Nankana West District, emphasising that the organisation was committed to working with stakeholders to attain SDG one, two and 13 for the wellbeing of children and communities. Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister in a speech read on his behalf expressed gratitude to World Vision Ghana for their commitment to empowering farmers to restore the vegetation cover and improve crop yield through best agricultural practices. He noted that the Upper East Region was characterised by pronounced dry seasons, bush burning and declining crop yield due to erratic rainfall and as a result it was increasingly becoming difficult for rural households to manage food crop and animal production.
Source: Ghana News Agency