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Environment & Natural Resource Management

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Environment & Natural Resource Management

Natural resource management issues have attracted increasing attention in recent decades, particularly in Africa, partly in response to a sequence of crises in energy, food, water, and other resources. As a result of population growth and climate change, pressures on scarce natural resources are mounting. As water demand grows for household, industrial, and agricultural uses, the functioning and quality of watersheds and irrigated land are deteriorating. Desertification, deforestation, overgrazing, salinization, and soil erosion are increasing as well, especially in developing countries. As a result, precious natural resources—from fertile soil to freshwater streams—are rapidly diminishing, with devastating impacts on the poor, who rely on these resources to generate most of their income and subsistence goods.

Effective governance and management of resources have always been important, but have become increasingly challenging in the face of changing climate, livelihoods, and market pressures. Many African countries have compromised their natural resource base for the sake of development, and are consequently facing various environmental challenges. The pressure on natural resources has potentially been aggravated by the development of infrastructure, advancement in extraction techniques, and expanding product markets that enlarge extraction opportunities for concession holders as well as local populations. Under such circumstances, the quality of land, water, and forest is threatened, and the regenerating capacity of resources is hardly guaranteed. These are evidenced in rural areas where most of these natural resources are located.

CA’s programs and projects under Environment & Natural Resources are aimed at land management, quality water, afforestation, water resource allocation, supports poverty reduction and food security through more productive, equitable, and sustainable use of resources in developing countries.

– Forestry

The need for specific government guidance and control of forestry activities in Ghana has become necessary due to changes that have occurred in the nature of Ghana’s forests since the adoption of the 1948 Forest Policy. This need also underpins our sensitivity to the serious reduction in the forest land area and the increasing local and international outcry over environmental issues relating to the forest. Besides, forestry plays a major role in the growth and development of the Ghanaian economy and the maintenance of environmental quality.

Forest and wildlife have together provided a wide range of socioeconomic and environmental benefits to Ghanaians since time immemorial and will continue to do so if we are able to manage the resources sustainability. Conservation Alliance works to build sustainable landscapes, protect primary forests and advance the rights of forest communities. Through its forest initiatives, CA helps communities implement effective forest and land-use policies, achieve national priorities and meet international commitments on climate change, biodiversity and land degradation

– Climate Change

Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

Conservation Alliance addresses climate change on two fronts; Adaptation: Helping communities adapt to the effects of climate change that are already happening and that are expected to accelerate, such as sea-level rise and Mitigation: Working to prevent further climate change by reducing emissions, enhancing carbon storage, etc.

– Marine and Coastal Management

Marine biodiversity is particularly rich, with some 1,200 species of fish and 330 species of corals recorded from the Red Sea and the Gulf and more than 11% of the corals are endemic to the Atlantic ocean which borders ghana’s coastal line. These coastal and marine resources are threatened by pollution, habitat destruction and the introduction of invasive alien species. Unplanned coastal and industrial development, tourism and tanker oil spills are of growing concern in our coastal communities.

The establishment of marine and coastal management programme was identified with an emphasis on the assessment and impact studies of marine ecosystems and the promotion of regional collaboration and multi-stakeholder dialogue.

Our programmes focus on consolidating assessments on Developing Countries status-quo with regard to marine and coastal zone ecosystem management, establishing a functioning network of marine and coastal management at the local level and addressing the global threats of ocean acidification, invasive species, loss of habitat due to ever expanding urbanization and coastal development coupled with various impacts of climate change.

– Human wildlife Conflict Management 

With the increase in wildlife populations in response to protection, human–wildlife conflicts also have increased. In the past, rural residents, especially agricultural producers, and forestry owners bore the brunt of wildlife damage. More recently, urban residents and other wildlife stakeholders are increasingly experiencing wildlife damage. The phrases ‘animal damage control’, ‘problem wildlife management’, and ‘wildlife damage management’ have been traditionally used to describe actions taken to reduce economic losses to agricultural produce caused by wildlife. More recently, the phrase ‘human–wildlife conflict management’ is being applied to these and other situations that involve any negative interactions between humans and wildlife. These conflicts can be either real or perceived, economic or aesthetic, social or political.

CA’s sustainable wildlife management (SWM) programs aims at the sound management of wildlife species to sustain their populations and habitat over time, taking into account the socioeconomic needs of human populations. This requires that all land-users within the wildlife habitat are aware of and consider the effects of their activities on the wildlife resources and habitat, and on other user groups.