UNDP mitigates impacts of climate change in cocoa growing areas

By
Dennis Peprah, GNA

Ampenkrom, (B/A), Sept. 2, GNA – The United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under its five year project to mitigate
the effects of climate change in the country’s cocoa landscape, has in the past
two years supplied 800,000 economic tree seedlings to more than 6,000 farmers
in growing areas of the cash crop.

The project named the “Environment
Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana Project (ESP)”, is
being implemented in 36 communities with the distribution of local species of
Mahogany and Ofram to the farmers to promote environmental sustainability
production practices in cocoa growing sites, through biodiversity conservation.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), is the main
implementer of the project, with additional support from the Mondelez
International’s Cocoa Life Programme.

Dr Augustus Asamoah, the Forestry Management
and Conservation Specialist of the ESP project, disclosed this at the
inauguration of the Ayum-Asuokow Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) at
Ampenkrom in the Asunafo North Municipality of Brong-Ahafo Region.

He said 250,000 farmers in the area alone,
had been supplied with the economic tree seedlings to help increase shade trees
on cocoa farms and enhance carbon stocks across the cocoa landscapes.

Ayum-Asuokow said an operational area of
21,574 hectares of land in that area, has been established to support
sustainable management of forest and natural resources in the area.

“It 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 users”, Dr. Asamoah explained.

He emphasised the need for closer
collaboration between the private sector and the responsible government
agencies to bring about sustainable production and biodiversity conservation,
especially in the cocoa producing areas.

Dr Asamoah appealed to traditional rulers to
lead the crusade against deforestation and climate change by using their powers
to fight illegal lumbering and mining as well as the destruction of river
bodies.

Nana Kwame Asamoah the Second, the Chief of
Ampenkrom said radical approach was required to control the rapid depletion of
the forest in the area.

He explained that because illegal loggers
wielded arms and offensive materials, it was difficult for forest guards to
bring the situation under control.

Nana Asamoah expressed concern about annual
bush and wildfires in the area which were also causing huge devastating effects
on the natural and forest resources.

Mr. Daniel Amponsah, the Chairman of CREMA,
appealed for support especially from security agencies and the Municipal
Assembly to enable them arrest deforestation in the area.

GNA

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