Ghana' push towards protecting the cocoa forest landscape to sustain agricultural livelihoods has received added impetus with the launch of the 'Rainforest Alliance/Olam Project'.
The four-year project is targeting the corridor around the Sui River, Suhuma, Tano Ehuro, Tano Suhien and Santomang Forest Reserves in the Western Region.
The goal is to conserve biodiversity, promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and management of forests to increase the resilience, income and food security of smallholder farmers.
It is being implemented in the cocoa supply chain landscape spanning Bodi, Akontombra, Juaboso and the Sefwi-Wiawso Municipality.
Mr. Ignatius Amankwah, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Bodi, performing the official launch, said it was a significant intervention to halt and reverse land degradation.
He rallied the people to work together to safeguard the forest and said it was in everybody's interest that the forest was conserved, to continue 'giving us the air, water, medicine and life itself'.
The DCE added that it should not be lost on anybody that this was also vital to the fight against climate change.
Mr. Christian Mensah, Project Manager of Rainforest Alliance, said the project would promote improved landscape governance through the creation of two Landscape Management Boards to provide participatory forest governance, to especially monitor and control the surrounding forest reserves.
He spoke of the creation of free supply chain, in line with industry's public commitment and the development of a climate smart production standard.
The project would demonstrate how partnerships between civil society, government, local communities and the private sector could deliver transformational change and achieve self-governing and multi-actor collaboration at the landscape level.
By Bernard Bekoe, GNA