Farmers call for urgent action to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes

02 March 2020

Smallholder farmers in Ghana are adding their voices to the call for urgent action in restoring Africa’s degraded landscapes. Most recently at the Global Landscape Forum 2019 in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.

“Restoring Africa’s Landscapes – uniting actions from above and below,” was the theme of the Global Landscape Forum in 2019. The event brought together hundreds of local, regional and international stakeholders to discuss potential solutions for ensuring Africa’s landscapes flourish once again.

At the forum: participants in the Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism project

Voicing concerns 

Among the attendees were 16 participants in the Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism project which is funded by the World Bank and implemented by Solidaridad.  

“We suffer a lot as our productive lands are being destroyed by bush fires, illegal mining and logging activities. Our crops fail and this badly affects our incomes and livelihoods,” said farmer Agartha Ofori at the event. “At this forum, we call on governments and policymakers to do something about the situation. As farmers, we are very prepared to support this effort.” 

We call on governments and policymakers to do something about the situation. As farmers, we are very prepared to support this effort” - farmer Agartha Ofori 

In the months before their participation in the forum, Solidaridad West Africa raised the farmers’ awareness of climate change and ways to deal with its adverse impact. Solidaridad also provided hands-on training and demonstrated climate-smart practices that can help restore degraded landscapes. 

Sharing best practices

At the forum, the farmers interacted with other participants during sessions on: 

1. accelerating the implementation of REDD+ and results-based payment in Africa 

2. understanding rural youth migration and its leading factors

3. restoring forest communities and harnessing indigenous knowledge to address climate change – lessons learned from around the world. 

Climate change affects everybody and it requires a united effort to tackle it"- farmer Hayford Duodu

Tackling the effects of climate change

As well as farmers, the event saw entrepreneurs, artists, foresters, pastoralists, policymakers, royalty, and national and international leaders discuss needs and solutions for restoring the degraded landscapes. 

“We are happy that we have been able to contribute ideas and learn from others. Climate change affects everybody and it requires a united effort to tackle it – no matter the size of your community,” said Hayford Duodu. 

Duodu is a member of the community committee that oversees the effective implementation of the Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism project.  

More about the Ghana Dedicated Grant Mechanism project

Solidaridad implements the project in 53 rural communities in the Western North, Bono and Bono East regions. So far, it has helped more than 17,000 farmers to turn to climate-smart practices and supplied more than 530,000 saplings to farmers to support forest restoration efforts and improve their livelihoods. 

>Read more about Solidaridad's work in the cocoa supply chain

 

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