Most of the world’s total wood removals from forests and trees are used for energy purposes. Local communities in developing countries largely depend on forests for their energy needs. In Ghana, charcoal provides about 64% of the energy for cooking and heating in most urban homes and constitutes a major source of livelihood for people in rural areas endowed with woodlands suitable for charcoal production. Charcoal production is predominant in the northern and transitional zones of Ghana. Taxes and levies on the charcoal trade are important sources of revenue for District Assemblies, Forestry Commission, and traditional authorities (chiefs) in production areas.
By promoting climate-smart landscapes, the Working Landscapes programme will contribute to climate change mitigation, adaptation, improved livelihoods, and environmental integrity, which are crucial to achieving the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Forests and trees in well-managed landscapes have the potential to contribute significantly to climate change mitigation and adaptation while supporting people’s livelihoods and sustaining agricultural value chains.
Illegal artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) imperils food security and biodiversity in Ghanaian mining communities. It deprives local communities of livelihood assets (fertile land, water, non-timber forest products) and other ecosystem services. Nonetheless, because of its positive economic contributions notably rural employment and export revenues, artisanal and small-scale mining will continue to be a driver of landscape change in Ghana.
In West Africa, Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) - Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) have become main drivers for reforms in forest governance and land-use. Despite progress, considerable challenges have also characterized the evolution of the process. Together with other partners, Tropenbos International is implementing the project “Strengthening the capacity of Non-State Actors to improve FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes in Western Africa” to tackle these challenges, better position Non-State Actors (NSAs), increase their participation in both FLEGT-VPA and REDD+ processes.
The Green Livelihoods Alliance (GLA) programme will support Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to promote inclusive and sustainable governance of forested landscapes as well as the restoration of degraded landscapes by influencing governmental and corporate policies and practices. This strategy is based on the conviction that well-governed forest landscapes will benefit local people; enhancing their economic and social development while reducing deforestation.