Community Mangrove Restoration within the Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site, Ghana

A Rocha Ghana
Published: 06 April 2016
Last edited: 16 January 2018
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Summary

The project replanted mangroves in 7.5ha out of 30ha of degraded areas along the shore of the Muni lagoon in Ghana. The aim was to restore the site’s ecological integrity as bird migratory route, turtle nesting site and fish spawning ground. Beneficiaries were trained and equipped with alternative livelihood ventures to limit over dependence. Community awareness of impact of anthropogenic activities on conservation was raised using radio, community durbars, and traditional authority engagement.

Classifications

Region
West and Central Africa
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Mangrove
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Theme
Adaptation
Ecosystem services
Fisheries and aquaculture
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 11: Protected areas
Target 14: Ecosystem services

Location

Ghana | Muni Pomadze Ramsar Site, Ghana, Central Region

Challenges

1. Declining mangrove & fish resources 2. Limited livelihood options 3. Lacking awareness The site once endowed with mangroves supported fish spawning and fish supply for the fisherfolk on the fringe of the resource. However, due to inadequate awareness of the impact of anthropogenic activities the site has lost its mangrove resources thus reducing the spawning grounds for fish. This has affected the livelihood of the fisherfolk leading them to extend their activities to nearby resources.

Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries include local communities in Biwadze, Mankoadze and Akosua Village, 5 Junior High Schools were reached and the district assembly and other community stakeholders were engaged during the implementation of the project.

How do the building blocks interact?

The communication tools used built a trustworthy environment with a renewed interest to take action on the part of both community members and stakeholders. They therefore readily provided information on areas where they lacked the capacity to take action in order to create the balance between development and conservation. These capacity needs were then addressed through the learning and sharing training sessions with additions in areas such as decision making mechanisms. The outreach and capacity needs assessment also provided an opportunity to identify feasible areas where beneficiaries could improve their livelihood. Lack of alternatives and low income levels were identified as some of the areas that required support to bridge the gap of balancing development with conservation especially with empowering community members to take conservation action notably replanting degraded mangrove areas. The process is cyclical in the sense that the outreach created the enabling environment for the identification of gaps as well as provision of support. The platform has now been created for communication to continue between institutions in charge of development as well as communities who have been empowered to undertake conservation action.

Impacts

1. The impact of the project has been the rehabilitation of the degraded mangrove habitat. Fishermen are also reporting enhancement of the recruitment of fish due to the improvement of fish spawning areas. Their livelihoods are therefore being sustained due to the improvement of the mangrove resources. 2. The use of the site by birds as a migratory route has also improved. More birds have been recorded over the past 2 years since the project was implemented. This has improved the biodiversity of the site and provides an opportunity for developing ecotourism potentials of the site for bird watchers. 3. Training and equipping beneficiaries in the alternative livelihood namely grasscutter rearing and giant snail farming under the project has enhanced their livelihoods. Household incomes have increased by 10% and the women in the group are more empowered to manage the home and less dependent on their husbands due to their active role in the restoration activities and the benefits of alternative livelihood and increased income.

Story

Jacqueline Sapoama Kumadoh, from “A Rocha Ghana”: “I was inspired to facilitate the implementation of the solution when I visited the Muni Pomadze Ramsar site. I observed that although the Ramsar site was reported to be once rich in mangrove resources and supported not only biodiversity but also livelihoods, the availability of mangroves had reduced significantly leaving the lagoon shore bare. This affected the water quality and quantity. The fringe communities becoming highly dependent on adjoining resources such as the community designated hunting ground and the Yenku forest reserve. In order to address the challenges the community had to face as well as to restore the ecological integrity of the site, the project was formulated and funded by the Global Environment Fund Small Grants Programme in Ghana. The project was not only to address the immediate threats facing the site but also forestall future spillage of over exploitation of resources in the adjacent Yenku forest and designated community hunting grounds. The project was developed in collaboration with community members and key stakeholders such as the Wildlife Division which managed the site. Communities contributed ideas particularly in areas that affected livelihood and made suggestions of feasible alternatives that could be employed to address the challenges. The building blocks were therefore developed and implemented. It is heartwarming to note that communities volunteered and supported the project replanted mangroves in 7.5 ha out of 30 ha of degraded areas along the shore of the Muni lagoon in Ghana. Furthermore, they have since initiated other actions such as planting trees in their farms as well as forming volunteer groups that carry out monitoring within the site to prevent incidents such as bushfires and use of the site by cattle grazers. The livelihood interventions that were also provided have increased household income thus resulting in a reduction of wild good harvesting from the site. It is my fervent hope that in the next 5 to 10 years the site would regain its vegetation not only through projects such as the one my organization initiated but also through community efforts.”

Contributed by

Jacqueline Kumadoh A Rocha Ghana

Other contributors

A Rocha Ghana