UDS researchers convene workshop on adaptive management of CREMAs

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UDS Researchers Convene Workshop on Adaptive Management of CREMAs

, Ghana – A research team from the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment at the () recently conducted a one-day workshop to deliberate on their research findings pertaining to the adaptive management of Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs).

The event took place in and was part of the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reduction Project (GSLERP), supported by the government of Ghana through the , in partnership with the Global Shea Alliance (GSA), (FC), and the Development Programme ().

CREMA, a concept initiated by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, is designed to foster collaborative and participatory wildlife management in the country.

This approach involves communities reaching mutual agreements on the management of shared natural resources.

The GSLERP's primary goal is to enhance forest carbon storage across the northern landscape by restoring degraded forests and Shea parklands while simultaneously promoting investments in the Shea value chain and empowering women.

The workshop, conducted under the theme “Adaptive Management of Community Resource Management Areas,” attracted various stakeholders, including the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability Ghana (ORGIIS) and other non-governmental organizations.

Participants shared their respective plans and experiences aimed at enhancing forest governance, transparency, and the restoration of Shea parklands and degraded lands.

One of the key objectives of the workshop was to enable stakeholders to engage in discussions regarding the findings of the problem or potential identification phase for adaptive management.

Additionally, it aimed to gather input from participants, identify potential management alternatives or models, reach agreements on a potential model, share and discuss lessons learned, and collaboratively design a monitoring mechanism for the model's implementation.

The research findings unveiled significant challenges in the effective functioning of most CREMA Executive Committees (CECs) and the Community Resource Management Committees (CRMC), primarily attributed to weak governance.

Professor Bernard N. Baatuuwie, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment and the leader of the research team emphasised the critical nature of the CREMAs in managing resources such as forests, minerals, and wildlife, which hold substantial potential for livelihoods.

However, these resources face numerous challenges, including land degradation resulting from activities such as agriculture, mining, and the harvesting of plants like rosewood trees.

Professor Baatuuwie highlighted the existence of governing councils within CREMAs, responsible for safeguarding these resources. Nevertheless, the persistent challenges necessitate intervention.

He explained, “To address this, the government of Ghana, through the Forestry Commission, is undertaking various activities, including tree planting and capacity-building, to restore these CREMAs. However, , specifically the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, as a Knowledge hub, is committed to uncovering existing information and generating new insights to enable sustainable resource management.”

To achieve this objective, Professor Baatuuwie elaborated that researchers engaged with stakeholders, including community members, NGOs, and government institutions operating within the landscape.

The aim was to identify challenges and collaboratively devise a management system to address these issues and enhance the resource's potential for the benefit of all stakeholders.

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