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Community-based Integrated Natural Resources Management Project in Okyeman


JULY 2003



1. Project name:

Community-based Integrated Natural Resources Management Project in Okyeman

2. GEF Implementing Agency: World Bank

3. Country or countries in which the project is being implemented:


4. Country eligibility:

Ghana is a party to the following international conventions: Convention to Combat Desertification, Convention on Biological Diversity, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ghana is eligible for World Bank UNDP funding

5. GEF focal area(s): Multi-focal

6. Operational program/Short-term measure: 12

7. Project linkage to national priorities, action plans, and programs:

The objectives and expected impacts of the proposed project are consistent with Ghana’s environmental priorities as outlined in the Ghana Forest and Wildlife Policy, the National Environment Action Plan, Biodiversity Action Plan, National Communication for Climate Change, the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy and other planning frameworks. The approach and outcomes of the project will complement the government’s efforts on forest and biodiversity conservation in Ghana, in particular under the World Bank supported Natural Resources Management Project (NRMP) and the two GEF-supported Ghana High Forest Biodiversity Project and the Ghana Northern Savanna Biodiversity Conservation Project. The project has the unique opportunity of demonstrating how traditional concepts of Okyeman resource management can be successfully combined with modern concepts. Such a combination offers a more holistic approach to biodiversity conservation and management, as well as implementation of policies and regulations under which sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and wildlife will continue to provide important sources of alternative livelihoods in addition to food crop farming.

8. GEF national operational focal point and date of country endorsement:

Ministry of Environment and Science


9. Project Rationale:

Okyeman (the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area)* is endowed with natural resources of global importance, including diverse terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity, endemic and globally threatened fauna and flora. These resources are being destroyed by the adverse impacts of human activities such as deforestation, water pollution, and over-harvesting of wildlife. Recognising the importance of nature and environmental conservation as the basis for the development of their people, the Traditional Authorities are taking concrete steps to prevent further degradation of forest and water bodies in the traditional area. The proposed project will help to expand the scope of these initiatives, thereby optimising their local and global environment benefits and enhance sustainable forestry related economic activities.

10. Project Objective and Outcomes
The objective of the proposed project is to enhance biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of renewable natural resources in Okyeman through community-based integrated natural resource management approaches.


  1. Degradation of renewable natural resources is minimized

  2. Improved capacity of local institutions and communities to manage natural resources in a sustainable manner.

  3. Increasing benefits to local communities through sustainable natural resource use options

Project Outcomes:

The following are the expected project outcomes:


(A) The status of forest and wildlife resources in Okyeman is improved through better management and minimization of current threats

  • Further degradation of primary forest halted; increasing wildlife populations; decreased incidence of bushfires and activities such as illegal logging and mining.

(B) The forest resources heritage of Okyeman is inventoried, documented and fed into development plans to ensure sustainability of development initiatives

  • No of community management groups established

  • Critical Okyeman’s forests and locally important species identified and documented

  • Up and running natural resource database established

(C) Traditional regulatory systems for natural resources management integrated into governmental policies and regulations.

  • Requisite by-laws promulgated and enforced by District Assemblies.

  • List of traditional/indigenous regulations and knowledge for resource use and conservation

(D) An environmental awareness programme focusing on key environmental issues and threats to biodiversity established and being implemented.

  • Increased awareness about the need to manage natural resources of local and global importance in a sustainable manner.

(E) Local economic development and improved livelihoods.

  • Increased earnings and other community benefits from alternative livelihood activities

  • Increased no of farmers adopting more sustainable and improved cultivation practices that promote conservation

11. Project activities to achieve outcomes (including cost in US$ or local currency of each activity):
(A). Status of forest and wildlife resources in Okyeman is improved

  1. Develop and implement management plans for critical forests habitats and key wildlife species


  • Number and quality of baseline studies completed

  • Number of management plans developed

  • Reduced numbers of incidence of illegal exploitation of forest resources

  • Increasing populations of target wildlife species

  1. Strengthen natural resources management capacity of local institutions by:

a) Establish coordinating mechanisms and provide relevant infrastructure and equipment

b) Develop local expertise through training workshops and study tours

  1. Support and strengthen the work initiated by the Okyeman Environment Brigades.

iv. Build linkages with Community Biodiversity Advisory Groups and community Forest Committees as well as other community-based nrm groups

(Cost: US$ 197,000)

  • An adequately equipped and well functioning project coordination office

  • Up and running Okyeman Environmental Foundation

  • Key members of the Okyeman Environmental Foundation trained in env. management

  • Number of local people benefiting from training programmes

  • Number of units within Okyeman with capacity to manage their natural resources in Okyeman

  • Sustainable harvesting guidelines for NTFPs and wildlife developed and implemented

  • Number of community management groups established

  • Number of active Brigades, activities and events executed successfully by the Brigades

  • Number of linkages and networks established

  • Number of joint operations conducted together

(B). Natural resource (especially Forest and biodiversity) heritage of Okyeman is inventoried

  1. Identify critical areas including sacred groves and develop plans for their conservation and protection.

  • Number of critical areas identified and demarcated

  • Number of plans developed and implemented

  1. Undertake rapid assessment of status of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity in key forest blocks and water systems in Okyeman, with particular focus on species of conservation concern and species with socio-economic and cultural values; and identify critical habitats and species for targeted conservation action.

  • Health of forest and water systems

  • Number of conservation areas identified

  • Number of species of concern identified

  1. Assess the extent of dependence of local communities in Okyeman on natural resources, as basis for defining alternative sustainable use strategies

(Cost US$ 113,000)

  • Number/Per cent of community members whose livelihood is linked to natural resources

(C). Enhanced local policies and regulations

  1. Identify source, assess relevance and role of indigenous knowledge on traditional conservation strategies practiced in Okyeman and evaluate their effectiveness as conservation tools.

  • Number of effective indigenous practices proposed and in adoption within Okyeman

  • Level of knowledge of traditional conservation practices within Okyeman

  1. Prepare an integrated land use plan for Okyeman to guide land-based development initiatives.

  • Number of land use plans developed and implemented within Okyeman

  • Number of communities adhering to adopted land use plans

  1. Enhance the local planning and regulatory framework for natural resources management and use through support for enactment of appropriate local by-laws in selected pilot communities to reinforce local regulations and indigenous strategies

(Cost: US$ 50,000)

  • Number of gazetted local by-laws regulating access to and use of land and forest resources in Okyeman developed and implemented in selected communities

  • Integrated natural resource development plan for Akyem Abuakwa.

(D). Capacity Building and Environmental Awareness Raising

  1. Undertake needs analysis of requirements for environmental education and public awareness materials

  • Report outlining environmental education needs in Okyeman

  1. Produce and disseminate environmental education/awareness materials and distribute widely within Okyeman

  • Numbers and types of environmental education materials produced

  1. Implement an environmental education program focusing on schools and community groups, focusing on threats to natural resources.

  • Number/Per cent of community members showing increased awareness of environmental issues as evidenced by assessments undertaken at start and end of project

  • Number of local first and second cycle institutions incorporating environmental education into their curriculum

  1. Mount campaigns on bushfires, illegal logging and mining, game meat exploitation in relation to endemic and threatened species.

Cost: US $92,000

  • Reduced number of incidents of illegal activities

  • Per cent curtailment of hunting of endemic and threatened species achieved

(e). Local Economic Development and Improved Livelihood

  1. Identify and strengthen vulnerable groups e.g. Women, youth, disabled etc

  1. Identify and support innovative sustainable natural resource use options, based on results of activities B (iii) and C (i) above.

  1. Demonstrate best natural resources management practices and disseminate lessons widely throughout Okyeman.

  1. Support small scale income generating activities to reduce pressure on the natural resources and enhance livelihood sources of people living around protected reserves

  1. Promote ecotourism ventures that encourage local community involvement.

  1. Establish arboreta

(Cost: US223, 000)

  • Number of communities replicating best management practices.

  • The number of viable small scale enterprises being implemented that are compatible with the project’s objectives

  • Increased income and benefits to local people

  • Number of viable small-scale enterprises developed

  • Improved incomes and benefits to local people.

  • Level of visitation by tourists to the project area;

  • Trends in income derived from ecotourism and related activities by local communities

  • Number of arboreta established.

(F) Project Management, Coordination, Monitoring and evaluation

i. Survey instrument for baseline studies

ii Performance Measurement Framework

iii Internal and external auditing

iv Produce Project progress report

v Produce periodic financial report

vi Produce final report

(Cost: US 173,000)

  • Up and running PMU/Secretariat

  • Qualified project staff recruited

  • Procurement and disbursement flows done on time

  • M&E system designed, installed and operational

  • Number trained and using M&E system

  • Socio-economic database established and used in tracking progress and impact

  • Up and running PMF for community monitoring

  • Audit reports submitted on time and in good quality

  • Number of reports (quarter, biannual and annual) generated

  • Number and quality of financial reports generated

  • Report generated


USD 848,000.00

12. Estimated budget (in US$ or local currency):


GEF: US$848,000

Co-financing: US$629,000 (cash and in-kind)

TOTAL: US$1,477,000


13. Information on project proposer:

The King has established a secretariat to manage all development projects of the Kingdom. This outfit is staffed by three (3) Development and Management Practitioners, one (1) Finance Manager, one (1) Accounts Clerk, one (1) Administrative Assistant and two( 2) Typists.

The Okyeman Environmental Foundation, which was established in June 2000 by the Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, with the overall goal of managing the rich natural resources of Okyeman in a sustainable manner for the benefit of the present and future generations operates under this unit.

The Foundation aims to mobilize and educate the people of Akyem Abuakwa on the need for the preservation of their natural heritage and ensure that human activities are environmentally friendly. Since its establishment, the Foundation has launched annual week-long environment campaign to coincide with the Word Environment Day. The Foundation has also established community Environment Protection Brigades charged with the responsibility of enforcing the policies and regulations regarding forest protection, protection of water bodies from pollution, enforcement of wildlife laws, as well as safeguarding the environmental health and sanitation in the traditional area.

14. Information on proposed executing agency:

14(a). Same as above.

14(b). Collaborating institutions:

The Ghana Wildlife Society: The Ghana Wildlife Society is one of the largest local non-governmental, non-political, nature conservation organisations in Ghana. The mission of the Society is to conserve wildlife in all its forms (plants and animals) to ensure a better environment and improved quality of life for all people.
Ghana Forestry Commission: The Ghana Forestry Commission (GFC) was established by an Act of Parliament (Act 571) in 1999 as a body corporate. The GFC is responsible for the regulation of the utilization of forest and wildlife resources, the conservation and management of those resources and the coordination of policies related to them. It is mandated with the responsibility to regulate the utilization of forest and timber resources and the nation’s forest reserves and protected areas; assist the private sector and the other bodies with the implementation of forest and wildlife policies; and undertake the development of forest plantations. There are four divisions created under the Commission – Forest Service, Wildlife, Timber Industry Development, Finance and Administration.
Environmental Protection Agency: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established by Act 490 in 1994 as a body corporate and statutorily mandated to regulate the environment in Ghana, set and prescribe standards and guidelines for environmental management and conservation, and enforce compliance of standards and guidelines.

As well, the OEF will collaborate with the six (6) district assemblies within the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom, research institutions under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), especially the Plant Genetic Resource Centre (PGRC), universities, the Ministries of Lands and Forestry, Food and Agriculture, Environment and Science and private sector organizations, traditional authorities as well as NGOs and community-based organizations.

Contact persons
1. Okyeman Environment Foundation

Baffour Asante Bediatuo,

Okyenhene’s Project Secretariat

P.O.Box AN 7703,

Tel : +233-21-784963/255453

Accra North

Email :

15. Date of initial submission of project concept: October 2002


16. Project identification number:

17. Implementation Agency contact person: Edward Felix Dwumfour, AFTR4, Natural Resources Management Specialist, World Bank Ghana Country Office, P. O. Box M 27, Accra, Ghana. Tel. ++233 21 229681; Fax ++233 21 227887; E-mail:

18 Project linkage to Implementing Agency program(s): Project fits with World Bank Assistance Strategy, Rural Development Strategy and Forestry Strategy; it complements the ongoing multi-donor supported Ghana Natural Resource Management Program and two GEF-supported Ghana High Forest Biodiversity Project and the Ghana Northern Savanna Biodiversity Conservation Project.


1.1 Project Objective

The objective of the proposed project is to enhance biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of renewable natural resources in Okyeman through community-based integrated natural resource management approaches.

1.2 Project Rationale
All over Africa, conservationists are becoming aware of the critical role of local communities in natural resource management. It is now widely acknowledged that the success and long-term sustainability of conservation initiatives depend on support and acceptance of such interventions by the local communities. It is also clear that local people will only support conservation initiatives if they see concrete benefits and improvements to the quality of their lives.
Until very recently, nature conservation in Ghana was seen as the responsibility of the State; protected areas were established without the consent of communities who owned the lands and people living in and around conservation areas were moved out and kept out of such areas. Local communities were neither involved in the management of their natural resources nor benefited from protected area management. Nevertheless, it is common knowledge that rural Ghanaians depend to a large extent on natural resources for food, shelter, health, livelihoods and many other aspects of their existence. As a result, forest lands continue to be degraded, grasslands are overgrazed, most wild animal species are becoming increasingly threatened by the demand for bushmeat, and the local populations who depend on wildlife resources are becoming poorer and poorer.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which aims to “ eradicate poverty in Africa and place African countries, both individually and collectively on a path of sustainable growth and development, clearly acknowledges that a healthy and productive environment is a pre-requisite for Africa's development. The government and people of Ghana, like many other countries in Africa, are determined to reduce poverty and increase livelihood sources for rural people, hence the development of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy1 by the current government. The Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy underscores the need to safeguard the natural environment to ensure long-term growth and development, and advocates for implementation of policies that prevent further environmental degradation and ecosystems losses. There is clearly a huge potential for integration of nature conservation with rural development initiatives to generate wealth and ensure the healthy environment that will secure sustainable development.
In 1994, the Government of Ghana revised the country’s Forest and Wildlife policy to encourage and promote community ownership and involvement in the management of forest and wildlife resources. Okyeman, the proposed project area, is one of the few traditional areas in Ghana who have demonstrated commitment to take up a lead role in managing their natural resource heritage for the benefit of their people and the country as a whole.
Okyeman (the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area)

Okyeman lies in the western part of Ghana’s Eastern Region and extends from Jejeti and Kankang in the north to Adeiso in the south-west. The traditional area covers a total of ca. 105,472 ha and has an estimated population of around two million (ca. 10% of Ghana’s population). The communities are rural and mainly farmers. A survey of primary occupation of the people in the area revealed that 72% were engaged in farming, 2% in food processing, 14% in trading, 2% in hunting, 6% in teaching and 2% in other occupations2.

Okyeman is one of the most powerful kingdoms within the Akan traditional system in Ghana comprising 801 towns and villages which are organised into five Divisions (Adonteng - 155 towns and villages; Oseawuo - 288, Nifa - 113, Benkum - 218 and Gyasi - 27). The traditional system of government in Okyeman is one of the most sophisticated in Ghana, with a government structure made up of the King (Okyenhene) and three councils of elected chiefs, sub-chiefs, councilors and elders. The Councils correspond to the executive, state and county councils of western government.

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