Even though global interest in mangrove research has increased in recent years, unveiling their immense ecological and economic roles, very little work has been done to investigate the primary driving factors motivating long-term community-based mangrove restoration and management on local scales. In Ghana, policy makers and coastal management practitioners have recently embraced the concept of community-based and co-management of coastal and marine resources. Community-based and co-management approaches require that key stakeholders, most notably the resource users themselves, play significant roles and responsibilities in the management process. However, there is little evaluation of the process in Ghana to assess the success or otherwise, particularly of the few and long standing examples of community-based approaches in coastal resource management.
Green-green is anything but harmless—these algae blooms fill the sea with silky, cotton-like tufts of algae that tint the sea green and coat the beaches in a dense, verdant carpet. These algae blooms have periodically choked the coastline west of the Ankobra River since 1993, and reports suggest that they are becoming more frequent and longer lasting. The blooms prevent fishermen from fishing by clogging nets and discourage tourism by sullying beaches. Unfortunately, the cause of these events is poorly understood. Fishermen and others who rely on the sea for their livelihood are becoming increasingly desperate for answers and a solution to the algae blooms.
This report outlines the accomplishments and lessons learned through piloting integrated sanitation and livelihood improvement interventions in four coastal communities in the Western Region of Ghana. It highlights the issues of plastic waste management in coastal communities and describes the business model applied to facilitate household income generation through plastic waste management in the target communities. The way forward for improving plastic waste management in coastal communities is suggested to inform similar and future initiatives in other parts of the country.
This report is the result of the livelihoods baseline survey as part of the USAID-funded Integrated Coastal and Fisheries Governance (ICFG) Program for the Western Region of Ghana (Hen Mpoano). The survey aims to provide a baseline for interventions to be implemented as part of the Hen Mpoano project.
Presentation made at the Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment (The Accra Conference 2017): Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) as Strategy for Empowering Communities for Sustainable Management of Coastal Ecosystems
Coastal communities in the Western region of Ghana have few livelihood diversification opportunities. This problem is magnified by the inability of majority of coastal dwellers at the bottom of the financial pyramid to access conventional sources of loans to start or expand small-scale enterprises. This has reinforced a perpetual cycle of over-dependence on natural resources for survival.
Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) has been applied in the rural settings to organize and empower community members to build cohesion for managing their natural resources and also generate self-funding for livelihood initiatives. Under the auspices of the USAID-funded Coastal Sustainable Landscapes Project (CSLP) and Sustainable Fisheries Management Project (SFMP), three (3) VSLAs were established in the riparian communities of the Ankobra River and their performance assessed against their contributions to household livelihood improvement and sustainable management of coastal resources. The assessment was carried out using regular monitoring visits with field schedules, interview checklist and focus group discussions over a 2-year period.
Findings reveal that VSLAs, have created institutions that organize members into groups and facilitate ready access to loans from their savings; improved household business outcomes and empowered women to advocate sustainable management of coastal resources in the Ankobra river catchment