Projects Strategic Approach
The project works along two strategic lines. For the mid and longer term it supports a process in which ecosystem services are being incorporated in policy planning and decision making processes. In the case of Atewa this means that in order to gain broad support for the protection of Atewa forest as a sustainable water source, information on its key ecosystem services and in particular water, is needed. A main component of the underlying project set up is to conduct an international led study on the economic value of the ecosystem services provided by Atewa forest.
First Approach: The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity Study
This TEEB study includes an estimation of costs related to mitigation of various impacts and the reduction of risks related to industrial mining and other activities that compromise its ecosystem services. The TEEB study includes mechanism options to maintain the regulating and provision services of Atewa, through identifying and engaging with beneficiaries of these services, and introducing instruments and incentives for PES, trading and insurance schemes. The study is a participatory and learning process in which the data collection, analyses of the outcomes, and discussion of the results asks for intensive multi-stakeholder dialogues. The facilitation of these dialogues and targeted policy influencing based on the TEEB outcomes contribute to the decision making process to improve protection of the Atewa forest and at the same work towards a government led process to change the protection status of Atewa from forest reserve into national park.
Second Approach: Addressing Immediate Threats
The second strategic line is by addressing the immediate threats that are currently undermining Atewa forest. The project will tackle these through a mix of
(1) National and local awareness raising activities,
(2) Mobilization and use of different media such as radio, television and social media,
(3) Facilitation of stakeholder dialogues to find common ground for sustainable solutions,
(4) Training and capacity building of CSOs in advocacy on rights issues and compliance to laws and regulations,
(5) Training of judiciary and police in legal provisions for the protection of the forest and its services, and
(6) Creating the enabling environment that fosters improved relationships between local communities and local state agencies. The threat of industrial mining will be addressed through targeted lobby and advice to policymakers and relevant government agencies.
The project will build local capacities by providing information to local stakeholders on the issues at stake and by training of local structures that represent the communities depending on the forest for their livelihoods. These capacities will enable local communities to balance various development options, have their voices heard in the decision making processes around the future of Atewa forest and strengthen their participation in the management of the area. The project will facilitate the work of the river basin boards and the Water Resource Commission by aligning the Atewa upstream work with improved basin management downstream.
As part of our efforts the project implementing partners and direct targeted stakeholders will actively engage with the organizations and networks now active within the GNWP. Thus, the Living Water from the Mountain project supports the sustainability of GNWP investments and contributes to Ghana's commitment to achieve the MDG 7 target.
This project is with kind sponsorship of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs