The Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project (GSLERP) has so far planted three million shea seedlings and established several nurseries to restore the degraded forest reserves within the Northern Savannah Zone (NSZ).
The NSZ are the Northern, Savannah and Upper West regions.
All these are efforts to mitigate climate change, which has been associated with a lot of discomfort throughout the world.
The Project Manager of GSLERP, Emmanuel Baapeng, disclosed this at the swearing-in ceremony of the two Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) Executive Committees for the Sissala East and West districts at Gwollu last weekend.
The two CREMA Executive Committees are to oversee the implementation of the government’s new plan to involve the communities in the management of the designated forest reserves within the NSZ.
The ceremony coincided with the distribution of improved shea seedlings to replace the depleting flora resources in that part of the country.
The GSLERP, launched by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, in February 2022 at Tamale, was to re-afforest the degraded landscape of the NSZ.
This will be done by the introduction of improved shea seedlings, which is the richest cash crop of the designated reserves and other economic trees.
Mr Baapeng explained that the purpose of the ceremony was the culmination of the various interventions of the government to shift the supervision of forest reserves from the centre to the periphery to allow the local people to participate in its management.
He said the role of the CREMA Executive Committee was comprised of the management and proper utilisation of the resources of the forest to the benefit of the communities and the country at large.
The GSLERP Project Manager noted that the executive committee members that had been elected were gender conscious as there was a 40 per cent female composition.
The Sissala West District Chief Executive (DCE), Aisha Batong Hor-Imoro, expressed her satisfaction with the GSLERP and thanked the government for the provision of the improved shea seedlings, among others, which she termed as a social intervention to put money in the pocket of the people.
She said the distribution of the improved seedlings would be non-partisan.
Mrs Hor-Imoro called on the 20 out of the 65 communities benefiting from the programme to take good care of them to enable other communities to also benefit.
She further cautioned the people not to cut down the trees in future for charcoal.
The Operations Manager of Wildlife Division of Forestry Commission (WD/FC), Christian Fumey-Nassah, said the depleted forest of the Savannah landscape was experiencing the effect of climate change in devastating proportions in recent years.
As such, he said the government was using various approaches to restore the heavily degraded areas and was happy that the CREMA executive bodies had been inaugurated.
Mr Fumey-Nassah described the CREMA as the best way to manage the forest resources for the benefit of the entire society.
He said there were now more than 60 CREMAs across the country, with 33 of them having been given the approval of the government to operate and had been empowered by the passing of the WD/FC Law.