A Living Lab for community and ecological resilience, Ghana
This 10-year community-based project in Atebubu, Ghana aims to foster both ecological and community resilience. It will demonstrate the power of biodiversity regeneration and a nature-inspired economy to catalyse local jobs, livelihoods, and economic alternatives – all co-designed with local stakeholders.
Project launch: 2021
Location: Atebubu & Wiase, Bono East Region, central Ghana
Objectives: Foster ecological and community resilience through forest landscape restoration
Key activities: Plant and steward 4.5 million trees / Restore 2,500 hectares of dry and savannah forest on degraded areas / Facilitate a Multi-Stakeholder Platform and capacity building / Foster social inclusion and improve livelihoods for women/youth
Main species planted: Ceiba (Ceiba pentandra), Senya (Daniellia oliveri), Dawa Dawa (Parkia biglobosa)
Partners: Local farmers, African Plantations for Sustainable Development, NGPTA, Nature and Development Foundation, AstraZeneca
Visit the project website: https://atebubu.newgenerationplantations.org/
The two communities of Atebubu and Wiase are located in the Bono East Region in central Ghana, near Lake Volta and the Digya National Park. The districts are key areas for charcoal production, and the natural forested land in the area has been subject to heavy encroachment by farmers and illegal tree cutting for charcoal. Degradation, habitat change from dry forest to savannah woodland and agricultural clearance has also contributed to the intensity and incidence of wildfires.
Common challenges faced by local communities in the region include unemployment, deteriorating soil fertility, limited education opportunities, poor communication networks, changing climate and weather-related challenges. The current challenging conditions, poverty and lack of opportunities are leading to low standards of living and out-migration, as well as encroachment on forested land.
- Action on the ground
This Living Lab is a 10-year community-based project, which aims to foster both ecological and community resilience. It will demonstrate the power of biodiversity regeneration and a nature-inspired economy to catalyse local jobs, livelihoods, and economic alternatives – all co-designed with local stakeholders.
- Restoring the landscape
The Living Lab will plant and steward 4.5 million trees, as well as assisting and encouraging natural regeneration, with the aim of enhancing biodiversity and establishing landscapes that are adaptive to climate change and natural disturbances. This includes improving soil quality, purifying water sources and protecting watersheds, as well as helping to prevent erosion and floods. The trees will also improve local air quality, provide shade and sequester carbon.
- Empowering the community
The Living Lab will facilitate a Multi-Stakeholder Platform – to engage local stakeholders including landowners, land managers, communities, civil society, governments, and the private sector to collectively design, govern and benefit from the project.
- Fostering social inclusion
The Living Lab aims to improve livelihoods for women and youth through employment in tree nurseries, the timber value chain, and as community mobilizers. It also facilitates capacity building through an out-grower scheme and community meetings.
- Creating nature-based business models
The Living Lab will create circular business models relying on biological resources (biomaterials and bioenergy) and nature-based systems. It aims to improve financial literacy and business development for smallholder farmers connected to agroforestry and woodlots, and provide resources for farmers to participate in and benefit from new commercial bio-based products and services.
- Developing economically sustainable and equitable forest systems
The Living Lab integrates tradition and technology while introducing new technologies to create innovative bio-based value chains, respecting local traditions and rights. It aims to increase food security through innovative farming methods, and embed practices that cause less harm to the landscape.
The project directly contributes to the achievement of 7 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a roadmap to a better and more sustainable future.
February 2023: Read the Lessons learned from the Atebubu-Wiase forest landscape restoration project
Our latest Ghana stories
This community-led project in Atebubu and Wiase places local communities at the heart of landscape restoration.
To celebrate the International Day of Forests, watch our new video to find out more about our Living Labs and meet people working on the ground to connect the dots.