Woadze Community Mountain Biodiversity Conservation and Alternative Livelihoods Project (CIMBCAL)
This was an intervention of The DI to reverse the loss of biodiversity in Woadze and its immediate environs of Weto Mountain. The Weto mountain ecosystem, renowned for its wealth in diverse fauna and flora faced a severe threat of extinction as a result of over exploitation from human activities such as unsustainable extraction of timber, fuel wood and poor agricultural practices. These led to the degradation of the forest cover and further exacerbation by annual bush fires. Besides the biodiversity losses, decreasing soil fertility, drying up of water bodies and worsening poverty situation of the area was an issue of concern.
The goal of this integrated DI intervention was to protect, conserve and promote sustainable farming practices such as soil and water management, agro forestry and alternative livelihood enterprises to make the community live off the forest. Also the project sought to reduce the biodiversity losses along the Weto Mountain and associated areas of the Woadze community, and share experiences with stakeholders.
The project successfully trained community members mostly farmers in several sustainable agricultural farming practices which included zero tillage and mulching. Also irrigated vegetable farming and small ruminant production were introduced as alternative sources of income than the mountain they relied solely on, hence its over exploitation. A pilot sustainable farm was established to serve as practical training ground for farmers. A Community Resources Management Area (CREMA) approach was used and agro-forestry was encouraged in the form of planting Moringa Hedge rows around their farms. Seedlings of different tree species were planted along the range. The project in additional purchased irrigation implements for use by the community. The project was highly successful, a unique model for restoration of mountain biodiversity.
Community capacity was enhanced in Biodiversity conservation and conservation agriculture farming. Community owned and hence its sustainability. Irrigation systems are being used and the CREMA is in place. Forest Enrichment planting under taken. Over 1000 seedlings of timber species have been planted in the CREMA. A viable alternative livelihood in vegetable production, moringa harvesting, small ruminants has been established by the community and still in running, ensuring all year round food production. Empowered financially and are more aware of their rights from the Municipal authorities and government agencies, particularly the EPA, IDA and the MoFA extension officers.