FONAR urges political parties to embrace Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration for land restoration

FONAR urges political parties to embrace Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration for land restoration

The Forum for Natural Regeneration (FONAR), an environmentally friendly non-governmental organization, has called on political parties to incorporate into their manifestos and scale up the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) concept to help restore degraded landscapes and forest reserves.

The organization said Ghana's commitment to restoring degraded lands was critical to achieving its environmental and developmental goals, and the FMNR was the best alternative.

Through the approach, plants regrow rapidly, are practical, nature-based, have a high survival rate, and are cost-effective to practice.

Mr Sumaila Seidu Saaka, Executive Director, FONAR, explained that the FMNR concept was a simple and low-cost restoration technique where farmers take an active role in regenerating and managing the growth of trees and shrubs from existing felled stumps or root systems without necessarily having to water them, as in the case of tree planting.

The Director made the call when FONAR engaged political actors in to solicit their commitment to promote and scale up the FMNR as a good restoration practice in the Region on the sidelines of the commemoration of the World Environment Day.

It was organised by FONAR and had funding support from the Awaken Trees Foundation, Austria.

This year's World Environment Day is being held on the theme “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” with a sub-theme “Upscaling FMNR for land restoration to halt desertification and build drought resilience in dry Northern Ghana.”.

Mr Saaka emphasised that there was evidence of the synergy between environmentalism and the key pillars of democracy, namely transparency, participation, and justice, and political parties therefore, had an important role in safeguarding these pillars and advancing the environmental agenda.

“As we prepare for the December 2024 general election, political parties are expected to refresh their manifestos, outlining both their strategic policy direction and prospective programmes on various critical national issues, and we call on them to consider scaling up FMNR as a good land restoration practice in the region,” he added.  

He urged the political parties to support the wide scaling of FMNR practice on the community and household levels in Northern Ghana and encourage the use of native tree species that were well adapted to the environmental conditions of specific geographical areas.

Mr Donatus Akamugri, the Upper East Regional Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (), lauded the efforts of FONAR in promoting land restoration using the FMNR approach, adding “it was the best way to go.”

“I must commend FONAR for their effort in promoting the FMNR approach to restore our degraded lands because this approach is indeed effective and reliable, unlike tree planting, especially in Northern Ghana, because we don't even have enough water, so we plant the trees and they die, but if we prune the shrubs of existing trees, then they will easily grow, and that should be the way forward,” he stated.

He said the manifesto committee of the NDC had not yet concluded its work, and his outfit would work for the incorporation of the FMNR approach if possible as the alternative approach to restoring degraded lands.

Although other political parties were also invited to the engagement, none was present.

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