Hen Mpoano, a Ghanaian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) which promotes sustainable management of coastal and marine ecosystems in collaboration with coastal communities will soon begin the planting of 200,000 mangrove seedlings covering 50 hectares of degraded mangrove forests within the Greater Amanzule Wetlands (GAW) in the Western Region under the AFR100 project in the next five years.
The GAW complex falls within the wet-evergreen high forest zone of Ghana and is a biologically diverse system comprising of tropical/terrestrial forests, swamp forests, mangrove forests and the Ankobra and Tano river basins.
The AFRI100 project, with funding from One Tree Planted, TerraMatch and World Resources Institute, would work with community volunteers, officers from the district assemblies, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and fisheries commission of Ghana to restore degraded mangrove ecosystems which serves as habitat and feeding ground for IUCN listed endangered species such as the Geoffroy’s black–and-white Colobus (Colobus vellerosus), Diana monkey (Cercopithecus Diana), African Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis), Red Colobus (Colobus badius), White-naped mangabey (Cerocebus torquatus) and the grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus).
It is expected to support the livelihoods of more than 12,000 coastal residents of GAW by improving the abundance and diversity of fin fish and shell fish in mangrove ecosystems and enhance coastal protection and climate change resilience.
The project aligns with the commitment by Ghana to restore 1.7 million hectares through tree planting by 2030 and falls in line with the Fisheries Commission agenda to rebuild the declining fish stock of Ghana’s artisanal fisheries sector.
By restoring the degraded mangrove forest, it would provide a heaven for a myriad of economically important fish species to Spawn and feed.
Hen Mpoano would leverage on the long-term partnership with wildlife division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana in charge of wetlands, district assemblies, Fisheries commission, sister NGOs, community leaders and volunteers in all phases of project implementation to ensure a success.
The project would use nature-based solution in reducing the impact of climate change, increase community resilience and mitigation to climate change.
According to the project Manager, Mr. Daniel Doku Nii Nortey, the restored mangrove ecosystem would provide conditions for wildlife habitation and enhance the tourism potential of the GAW which is already being explored by local communities.
Also, he said it would strengthen climate resilience and mitigation, improved water quality and ultimately lead to improved livelihoods and income and food security in coastal communities.
As part of the implementation of the project, relevant stakeholders (District assemblies, Traditional authorities, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Fisheries Commission and Fringe communities) will be engaged through sensitization meetings to gain their buy-in and their ownership of the project.
Mr Nortey said the GAW would further be enhanced to sequester additional 1,804,24.27 megagram carbon in the long-term.
He explained that the reforestation had become necessary because riparian communities of the GAW have depended heavily on the natural resources associated with the wetland and exploit them for their food and livelihood security resulting in the degradation of these resources. He added that, resource users will be sensitized on sustainable use of the wetland resources.One Tree Planted, TerraMatch and World Resources Institute