ICM & GIS
Mangrove wetlands are one of the most important ecosystems on earth, providing habitats for both marine and terrestrial organisms as well as supporting essential human services. However, high dependence of humans on these systems is leading to significant transformation of mangrove wetlands and reduction in their ecosystem services including fisheries. The objectives of this study were to estimate the biomass of two mangrove wetlands in Ghana within urban and rural contexts and determine the fish fauna assemblages as part of baseline setting. The study used the structural parameters of mangrove species and allometry to estimate the biomass of both forest systems. Fish community structure were determined based on ecological surveys.
Workshop report to establish an environmental data hub in the Central Region of Ghana.
Environmental Monitoring and Mitigation Plan
The SFMP project’s Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, a tool for planning, managing, evaluation and documenting progress towards achieving the goals of the project.
A rapid assessment was carried out on the Greater Amanzule wetlands in Ghana to assess the types and conditions of mangroves and associated ecosystem services (e.g. carbon sequestration, wood collection and tourism) for determining the potential for payment for ecosystem services (PES). A combination of stakeholder discussions and on-the-ground surveys was used to gather information on 18 mangrove sites. The survey showed that over 1,000 ha of mangrove forests exists in scattered pockets of less than 10 ha (in 50 % of the sites), representing nearly 10 % of the known national mangrove coverage of 14,000 ha.
A rapid assessment was carried out within the mangroves of Amanzule Wetlands in Ghana to assess the types and conditions of mangroves and associated ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration, fish nursery, and coastal protection) in the field for use in feasibility assessment of the potential for payment for ecosystem services in the mangroves and wetlands in Amanzuri and surrounding areas.
Approved byelaws for wetland conservation in four critical areas in Ahanta West District: Butre, Busua, Akwidaa, and Princes Town under the Integrated Coastal Fisheries Governance Initiative (Hen Mpoano Initiative).
The Western Region of Ghana harbors several key ecosystems with high value biodiversity. The coastal area of the region is particularly diverse in habitats many of which are unique in terms of biodiversity and provision of ecosystem goods and services. The habitats comprise of lagoon wetland systems, mangroves estuaries, sandy beaches and rocky beaches. These habitats are considered critical because of their high vulnerability to population growth, urbanization, industrialization and climate change vulnerability.
This report on the Biodiversity Threats Assessment of the Western Region of Ghana contains information obtained from public institutions, individuals, NGOs and published and unpublished literature. The situation in the Region is juxtaposed against the national condition to elucidate the peculiarities in its biodiversity assets.
The long-term instability of the large amount of carbon stored in tropical peat lands is of major concern within the context of contemporary climate change as result of rapid deforestation and degradation. In Ghana, however, most land use change studies have concentrated on terrestrial vegetation, with very few research activities on the peat swamp forest. Of those studies that have been conducted, the majority have focused on faunal surveys and plant species identification. As a result, there is no available data on the role of peat swamp forests in carbon sequestration and the associated impacts of anthropogenic activities in these unique ecosystems. This research was commissioned as a first effort to understand the carbon stock and nutrient dynamics of the peat swamp forest in the greater Amanzule Wetlands, including the role of anthropogenic activities in the loss of accumulated carbon stores.
A resolution passed after a two-day meeting to discuss the future of the Amanzule wetlands areas, stretching from the Mile 32 / Ankobra river (covering Nzema East, Ellembelle and Jomoro Districts) to the Tanoe basin / Ivory Coast border.
Understanding the spatial arrangement and location of different types of land use and land cover is integral to effectively managing natural, cultural and economic resources. Land use and land cover data allow land managers and other decision makers the ability to observe current conditions on the ground and make informed decisions about how future development should occur. In the past, development was placed without regard as to how it would affect adjacent land uses or whether it was replacing important agricultural, cultural or ecological areas. With the advent of satellite remote sensing and geospatial analysis technologies, land use and land cover maps developed from remotely sensed data have become routine practices in resource management and planning.
This document highlights the process of Conservation Management Scenario Development for the Greater Amanzule Wetlands. The Greater Amanzule Wetlands stretches from the Ankobra River estuary to the Ivory Coast border and covers the coastal plains of the Ellembelle and Jomoro Districts and to a little extent, the Nzema East District. Due to its rich biodiversity features, it remains a critical area of concern to many stakeholders (particularly Traditional Authorities and Civil society groups) but it is yet to have a formal conservation status.
Based on the emerging potential of blue carbon as a climate change mitigation mechanism, a preliminary assessment of carbon stocks in the mangrove and swamp forest ecosystems in the greater Amanzule wetlands (spanning from the Ankobra River to the western shoreline bordering Cote d’Ivoire). The objective of the assignment was to generate baseline information on total carbon stocks, as well as carbon stock changes associated with various land-use dynamics in the wetlands.
During the past few decades, flooding has claimed lives and damaged property worth millions of cedis in the communities abutting the Anankwar floodplain. Flooding occurs in flash events of short duration but intense rainfall, as well as extended periods of rainfall that saturate the soil of the entire drainage basin and overtop catchment areas, leading to large volumes of runoff and the accumulation of water in wetlands and the flood plain. Major contributing factors to flooding include topography, soils, the amount of stabilizing land cover, as well as land uses that prevent water absorption. The scarification of hillsides exposing soil to erosion, the creation of impervious cover due to filling and construction within the drainage area, and poorly conceived storm water drainage systems all reduce the water retention potential of the drainage basin, sending greater volumes of water to flood plain and increasing flood risk.
Presented in this report is a compilation of the findings of the four case studies and implications for Ghana fisheries sector. The results informed the approach and interventions of the ICFG Initiative in the Western Region and support for fisheries policy formulation in Ghana.
The main objective of this study was to apply remote sensing technology to map the past and present areal extent of mangroves in the Ellembelle district in the western region of Ghana, especially in the face of limited data. Three main remotely sensed data were used in the study: a true color orthorectified digital aerial photo (AP); and two satellite data sources ‐ RapidEye and Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery. Additional data were acquired through a participatory mapping exercise and a GPS survey. Other ancillary data like an existing land use/ land cover map of the area was used for the mapping.
Community participation in forest management has gained popularity as one way of ensuring sustainable forest management and so the Bleih Community Forest management was assessed for its adherence to the principles of participation. The study was done in the communities around the Bleih Community Forest, northern Liberia, Sanniquillie Nimba County. A case study approach with focus group discussion and interviews was used to assess stakeholders’ perspectives on people’s participation in the management of the forest. The data collection was done in November/December, 2015. The interview covered 185 respondents while 85 community members participated in the focus group discussion. Data collected from the interview was subjected to SPSS (version 21) for quantitative analysis and that collected from the focus group discussion was analysed descriptively. Management of the Bleih Community forest was not fully inclusive of the members of the communities surrounding the forest. Eighty four percent (84%) of the respondents did not participate from the development of the management plan to the management and monitoring of the forest. Respondents outside the 36-56 (years old) age category had lower participation likewise females. In terms of people’s position in the community, the traditional leaders did not participate at all in the implementation and monitoring of the forest. Also respondents’ level of education and place of origin did not increase their level of participation in forest management. The respondents (89%) of all the categories (age, sex, position in the community and level of education) did not show any level of satisfaction with the forest management, their needs were not met as benefits were not given as requested or promised. The study recommends active participation of the communities in the management of the forest.
The roles of the Community Based Groups (CBG’s) and their impact on the development of communities cannot be under-estimated, but with current emergence of these groups, there are doubts as to whether they are well structured and their roles being clearly defined in order to reduce any conflicts of interest that may occur. This study therefore tried to determine the extent of CBG’s involvement in sustainable forest management, their roles in ensuring sustainable forest management and the constraints faced by the Groups in performing their roles in forest management. The findings of the study indicated that CBG’s fringing Cape Three Points forest reserve were actively involved in all the processes (i.e. decision-making, implementation, monitoring and benefit sharing) geared towards sustainable forest management. The results also emphasized on the roles of the CBG’s comprising boundary clearing, monitoring the reserve, creation of forest protection awareness, preventing illegal chainsaw operations, reporting of illegal activities, fire prevention and prevention of encroachment. The groups were however confronted with numerous constraints that inhibit effective performance of their roles. These were inadequate materials and logistics, delayed payment of funds, financial constraints, attacks from illegal chainsaw operators and weak collaboration with authorities. The overall conclusion shows that the involvement of the CBG’s in management has immensely contributed to the control, prevention and reduction of illegal activities and bushfires in the forest reserve.
Coastal ecosystems, particularly, estuaries and intertidal environments are important sources of food and livelihood security for the growing coastal population. However, estuarine- dependent livelihoods are increasingly threatened by climate change and unsustainable human exploitation of estuarine resources. This study assessed the impact of climate change and variability on livelihoods, including vulnerability and existing adaptive capacities to climate change and variability in five communities on the Ankobra Estuary. The communities are Sanwoma, Adelekezo, Eshiam, Eziome and Kukuaveli. Different methods namely documentary search, structured questionnaire interviews, field observations and focus group discussions were used to collect the data. Findings from the study shows that Ankobra estuarine communities are experiencing the impact of climate change and variability through factors such as variability in rainfall patterns and amount, increased incidences of flooding, saltwater intrusion into estuaries and freshwater aquifers. The extent of vulnerability to the impact of climate change and variability and adaptive capacity vary from one community to another and depends on livelihood assets. Communities have multiple adaptation strategies including building of temporal housing structures, growing of drought tolerant crops, timing of fishing activities, cultivation of wetlands among others. These adaptation strategies could lead to long-term sustainability if enhanced and promoted.
Presentation made at the Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment (The Accra Conference 2017): Using Participatory GIS Approaches for Resource Conservation and Management: Case of the Greater Amanzule Wetland
Participatory GIS has been identified as one of the effective ways of mapping wetland resources and their related threats, especially in developing countries like Ghana where high resolution multispectral imagery for local scale mapping and planning is limited. Under the auspices of the USAID-funded Coastal Sustainable Landscapes Project (CSLP) this study explored the use of participatory GIS as a tool for community participation in the conservation, planning and management of mangrove ecosystems associated with the Greater Amanzule Wetland landscape. Participatory mapping was conducted with Community Conservation Committees (CCC) in 14 communities; maps were validated through ground truthing involving wetland resources users who had been trained in the use of GPS. Orthophotos used during the participatory mapping were processed through visual interpretation. Out of a total of 688.75 hectares of mangroves mapped, it was revealed that 160 hectares have been degraded through natural processes and human activities. Mapping products generated for each of the communities aided communication and identification of specific management actions such as mangrove restoration and ecosystem-based enterprises development. Self-selected members of the communities, including mangrove harvesters, voluntarily established mangrove nurseries and initiated field restoration activities resulting in 21.30 hectares of degraded mangrove areas restored. The participatory approach used in this study is proving to be a successful and cost- effective approach to wetland conservation and management planning in the absence of local scale high resolution imagery.