Awareness Campaign and capacity building to Halt Indiscriminate Felling of Economic Trees (e.g. Shea trees) in Koro, Suke, and Samoa communities in the Lambussie District in Ghana.
This summary outlines the triumph of an awareness campaign held on August 13th and 14th, 2023, aimed at tackling the pressing issue of economic tree felling in Koro, Suke and Samoa. This initiative by Nature Society Ghana (NSG) aimed to enlighten and sensitize community members on the critical environmental and economic implications of this harmful practice.
a. Create Awareness: Raise consciousness about the importance of preserving economic trees.
b. Environmental Education: Educate community members about the adverse environmental consequences linked to economic tree felling.
c. Introduce Alternatives: Introduce sustainable practices to counteract the problem.
After effectively introducing the campaign’s goals, participants acknowledged the potential hazards posed by their actions. Some key driving forces behind these practices were recognized:
Climate Induced Poverty’s Role: Economic hardship pushes the youth towards short-term financial gains, overshadowing long-term environmental concerns.
Lack of Alternatives: Lack of viable livelihood alternatives contributes to continued reliance on destructive practices.
In response, the team proposed interventions to offer alternative income sources:
Shea Plantation development: Integrate shea tees on farm ants and boundaries to increase shea tree cover and its associated benefits.
Honey Production: Supporting honey production as an income source through sustainable harvesting and selling.
Animal Farming: Raising livestock (goats, sheep, poultry) for income from meat and related products.
Soybean Cultivation: Growing soybeans for versatile applications and market sales.
Cowpea Farming: Cultivating cowpeas, a drought-tolerant crop, for nutritional benefits and market revenue.
The team underscored the perils of economic tree felling and demonstrated how adopting sustainable practices benefits both income generation and tree preservation.
The campaign extended to schools (Samoa JHS, Samoa Primary, Suke JHS, and Suke Primary), reaching a total of 809 participants. Students shared the benefits of trees, including:
Income: Provides income for school fees, learning materials, and other household needs.
Sea butter: Edible oil for food.
Shade: Providing shelter, moisture retention, and shade for animals and agriculture.
Medicinal Value: Many plants offer traditional and modern medicinal uses.
Fruits: Plants yield nutritious fruits that support health and ecosystem balance.
Oxygen Production: Photosynthesis generates essential oxygen for all living organisms.
Rainfall Influence: Plants impact water cycles, enhancing precipitation.
Windbreaks: Trees act as natural windbreaks, safeguarding plants, crops, and buildings.
The team lauded the active participation of students and teachers and emphasized the dangers of tree felling. Interventions by the NSG were shared, and students were encouraged to disseminate the message to their families.
In conclusion, the campaign successfully raised awareness on economic tree felling’s detrimental effects and promoted sustainable alternatives, fostering a sense of responsibility among community members and students alike.
The Rufford Small Grant Foundation.