Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI)
Project Background: Unsustainable agricultural practices and unwise use of natural resources have been a persistent cause of degradation and deforestation leading to reduced livelihoods.
The increasing and alarming rate of deforestation has huge implications for resilience of natural resources dependent communities as they dwell largely on these resources. Local communities have been using indigenous knowledge in biodiversity conservation and forest protection through observance of taboo, totems, sacred grooves and cultural rites. These practices although highly valued, are losing their significance due to modernity. Coupled with this, poor implementation of national policies and legislations has resulted in irresponsible communities’ stewardship in assuming full ownership and control right over resources for its sustainability.
The Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) was established by an informal alliance of national and international Indigenous Peoples’ organisations, nongovernmental organisations and social movements that shared a joint belief in community stewardship, governance and rights-based approaches to biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and restoration. The goal of the Initiative is to sustain and strengthen the resilience of community conservation practices, including Indigenous Peoples’ and community conserved territories and areas (ICCAs), in light of existing or potential external and internal threats. The main objective is to perform a bottom-up assessment of a.) the resilience of Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ initiatives and approaches to conservation and restoration and b.) the legal, political, socio-economic, financial, technical, and capacity-building support that could assist in sustaining and strengthening such initiatives and approaches, and subsequently to secure those forms of support through strategic advocacy efforts.
The Development Institute (The DI) has been using the Community Resources Management Area (CREMA) concept under the collaborative resources management concept of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, to support the creation of Community Protected Areas (CPAs) at Weto Range Landscape of the Volta Region of Ghana. The DI will combine the Community Conservation Resilience Initiative (CCRI) methodology and the CREMA concept to strengthen the existing CREMA communities to conserve and protect the biodiversity in their area.
This project is being implemented in three communities within Weto Range and Avu Lagoon landscapes. The Weto Range is a unique mountain area that stretches from the South Eastern shores of the Volta Lake and traverses through the Volta Region of Ghana and continues into the Republic of Togo to Benin. It is one of the hot spot biodiversity of the Upper Guinean Forest of West Africa. The Weto area is covered with mountain forest and savannah grassland at the foot of the mountain. The area is not only a home to buffalo, various monkeys, birds, butterflies, cobes, bats and frogs but also a source of several watersheds with waterfalls; popularly the Wli falls, rivers such as Dayi and Tordzie which drain into the Avu Lagoon the only site for Sitatunga (amphibian mammal) and major site of migratory birds in Ghana.
- Increased community awareness on value and rights to their conservation areas
- The youth knowledge and appreciation for indigenous knowledge on conservation and usage enhanced
- Communities’ rights, values and support for their conservation areas are enshrined in the laws of Ghana.
Project Duration: July 2016 – December 2017
Funding Support: Global Forest Coalition