Rainforest Alliance trains members of GARDJA on Climate Smart Agriculture

The current most challenging global issue is rural poverty, ranging from child labor and poor working conditions to deforestation for agricultural expansion.

Economic desperation exacerbates these complex issues, which are deeply embedded in global supply chains. The result is a vicious cycle of environmental destruction and human suffering.

From fighting deforestation and climate change to building economic opportunities and better working conditions for rural people, the Rainforest Alliance is working to solve urgent environmental and social challenges.

On the backdrop of this, Rainforest Alliance with funding support from it’s implementing partners organized a 2-day workshop training for the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), in Accra.

The 2-day workshop which started from 2nd-3rd November, 2021, at the Mensvic Grand Hotel in Accra, was purposed to “ENSURING PEOPLE AND NATURE THRIVE IN HARMONY”.

Speaking at the workshop, Leslie Adwoa Agyapong, Reimagining Certification Manager, Rainforest Alliance, intimated that, “Our work to cultivate rural prosperity brings real, measurable benefits for farmers, forest communities and Indigenous peoples around the world.”

Across the tropics, farming and forest communities face a daily struggle to cover life’s basic needs. Breaking the cycle of rural poverty and tackling the ensuing impacts for people and nature, is critical for a more sustainable future for mankind.

It is in line with the aforementioned that RA was birthed, to work with millions of farmers and with forest communities all over the world to promote sustainable and climate-smart practices and improve livelihoods, both of which are critical to building farm and farmer resilience, stopping deforestation, and increasing biodiversity.

RA she said, stands by providing a practical framework for sustainable agriculture, and a targeted set of innovations, the Farm Requirements can help farmers produce better crops, adapt to climate change, increase their productivity, set goals to achieve their sustainability performance and target investments to address their greatest risks.

“Making responsible business the new normal in the whole value chain. Saying, “how is the farmer farming responsibly, responsible is the farmer on the inputs, chemicals, crops, etc in the value chain? Are the companies trading responsibly? How are the are our leadership doing due diligence in the work they do? We’re also changing the way the world producers source, produces and consumes. And so, that’s what RA stands for,” She stressed.

One of the key areas touched on was the Integrated landscape management, which are initiatives set to strengthening landscape governance and connections between local communities and more responsible buyers and other investors, based on environmental sustainability criteria defined for the landscape.

Speaking on the Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) project, which was launched on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, by RA, World Vision Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana and EcoCare Ghana, Madam Abena Dufie Woode, Senior Project Manager for LEAN, said the aim of the project is to conserve biodiversity, build climate resilience, and reduce emissions from land-use changes in the savannah, high forest, and transition zones of Ghana.

The four-year LEAN project which is funded by the European Union’s flagship GCCA+ initiative with the sum of US$4m, spans from 2020 to 2024 (48 months).

Madam Abena Dufie, also noted that, the Project is being implemented in five Regions, namely; Western, Savannah, Upper East, Ashanti and Bono East Regions.

In the Savannah Landscape, she mentioned the West Gonja, Kassena-Nankana West, Offinso North, Techiman North, Nkoranza North, Nkoranza South, Sefwi Wiawso Municipal, Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipal, Bodi and Akontombra districts.

She indicated that, as an Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) Project, LEAN provides strategic keys such as diverse landscapes, cross-learning and business cases to be built for ILM models across various commodity sectors and use of multi-stakeholder assessment framework, reporting platform and verification mechanism-landscape tool.

According to her, the project is envisioned to set up demonstration and scalable landscape governance structures that are empowered to make sustainable management decisions, operate within the government supported regulatory framework.

The governance structures she said, will serve as a collaborative and inclusive natural resources governance and management framework that will foster local community participation and responsibility in the conservation of natural resources, forest management and climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy that generates livelihood benefit for smallholder farmers and forest users.

Other speakers at the workshop form the Rainforest Alliance were Kwadwo Nti Bediako, Manager-Landscape and Communities, Joyce Owusua Poku-Marboah, Senior Project Manager, Forced and Child Labour, Joseph Yaw Mensah-Senior Associate Training and Certification, and Nana Yaw Reuben-Projects Coordinator for GARDJA.

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