Our Forests and Development campaign focuses on policy and regulatory reforms which empowers people to realize their full development aspiration. Forests are integral part of the life of rural communities across Ghana and other tropical countries, they have spiritual connections to the forests. Majority of these rural communities are dependent on the forests for their livelihoods, however, for a long time they have systematically lost their rights and fairer benefits from forests. EcoCare Ghana is interested in working with duty bearers and local communities to ensure that existing policy and legislative framework addresses the injustices in forest tenure and ownership. We want to see forest communities recognised major stakeholders whose views must be respected in decision-making processes about forests. We also work towards forest management and governance that acknowledge the inherent socio-economic potential of forests and the conservation benefits to rural communities. Integrated forest-based cottage industries have the potential to enhance rural development and EcoCare Ghana is committed to promoting that concept.
Our Forests and Climate Change campaign focuses on drawing attention to the potential catastrophic outlook of the planet due to the actions and inactions of human beings as it relates to forest loss. Already, freshwater supplies are shrinking, agricultural yields are dropping, the radiation from the sun is unprecedented, and rising ocean levels are at alarming limits; all due to a warming climate. Forests on the other hand play important role in absorbing and sequestering atmospheric carbon. We believe efforts should be geared towards protecting and conserving the remaining forests for the indispensable functions they play. EcoCare Ghana believe we must rethink the way we produce and consume energy, food, and water. We are committed to improving the resilience and adaptabilities of people, particularly rural farmers and communities to climate change. As the world works to realize the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and other environmental conventions, EcoCare Ghana works to ensure that rights of local communities are protected and that social and environmental safeguards are complied with. We are also committed under this campaign area to shape the dialogue at both international and local level around strategies and actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We are particularly interested in landscape approaches that target community participation in combating climate change. The cocoa and shea landscape is of particular importance to EcoCare Ghana’s climate change actions.
Our Forests and Agriculture campaign focuses on two key commodities; cocoa and oil palm, and their potential contribution to forest loss. Agriculture is arguably the highest cause of forest loss in Ghana, and cocoa as the highest exporting commodity is one of the major contributors. Ghana's average cocoa yield is about 350kg-400kg per ha, while Indonesia, the third largest cocoa producer after Cote D’Ivoire and Ghana, produces about 800kg per ha. Clearly, there is a problem with farming technology and yield, which have cascading effect on the size of forest cleared for cocoa production. A recent study show that due to scarcity of fertile land, protected areas are being encroached for cocoa production in Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire. EcoCare Ghana is committed to ensuring that forests lost to cocoa production is minimized by supporting institutionalization of systems that ensures compliance to internationally recognized standard and legality frameworks. On oil palm, EcoCare Ghana believe that if properly implemented, the African Palm Oil Initiative (APOI) under the TFA2020 framework has the potential to address most of the issues around conversion of forests for oil palm. We are committed to ensuring that issues such as no deforestation, adherence to HCS/HCV standards, respect for farmers’ rights and fair pricing are guaranteed.
Our Forests and Wildlife Conservation campaign seeks to promote community participation in wildlife protection and conservation through Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) concept and other community-based resource management regimes that empower communities to play active roles. Under this campaign area, we work with committed communities through support and technical guidance towards establishing CREMAs, and developing workable bye-laws and systems for effective management. EcoCare Ghana also seeks innovative ways of resource management for communities to get rewards and income while they conserve their resources. We also seek to create awareness and work towards realizing Ghana’s commitments and obligations at the international stage, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and how strategies are being developed to protect endangered wildlife species.