Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, says the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) concept is a sustainable land and forest restoration strategy with the greatest potential to complementing government’s Green Ghana initiative to mitigate climate change.
He, therefore, joined the advocacy to have the concept incorporated into national policies and programmes and pledged to put in place pragmatic measures to integrate it in the Medium-Term Development Plans of the 15 municipal and district assemblies in the region.
The Regional Minister said this at the FMNR Scaling-Up Advocacy Engagement with regional policy makers and implementers in Bolgatanga, organised by the World Vision Ghana with support from the Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR).
Between 2009 and 2019, the World Vision Ghana implemented the concept in the Talensi, Kassena-Nankana West and Garu districts in the Upper East Region, which had contributed significantly to reversing degraded landscapes and restored forest vegetation.
Mr Yakubu said the results from the implementation of the project in the districts had proved beyond reasonable doubt it had the greatest potential of complementing government’s efforts to mitigating climate change, particularly the five regions of the north, where desertification was a major problem.
He expressed worry over the actions of some Fulani herdsmen who worsened trends of desertification through their activities and appealed to the chiefs to join hands with World Vision to implement the regenerative concept.
Mr Timothy Amangbey Akampaabadai, the Northern Sector Operations Manager, World Vision, said despite the immense contribution of the project to improving land degradation, it had not received the needed attention from the local and national policy makers.
Mr Sumaila Saaka, the Executive Director of FONAR and Global Online Facilitator of World Vision, said unlike tree growing, the regenerative concept was cost effective with very high survival rate of trees and shrubs.
He said the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and development partners had recognised the FMNR as a regreening strategy and urged Ghana’s policy makers to embrace it and mainstream into all sectors.
He called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Forestry Commission, Wild Life Division, and the ministries of Environment and Education, among others, to mainstream it into their programmes.
The FMNR is an easy and low-cost land and forest restoration technique to increase the number of trees without necessarily planting new ones but through the protection and management of existing trees and shrubs regenerated naturally from rootstocks, stumps and dispersed seeds.
It is used to sustainably combat poverty and hunger among poor subsistence farmers by increasing food and timber production and resilience to climate change.
The concept is spreading fast across 24 countries including Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, DR Congo, and South Sudan and has contributed to improving the conservation of biodiversity and livelihoods and mitigating climate change.
By Anthony Apubeo, GNA