By: Margaret Arwari
10 December 2020
Following a review of the existing Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) classification schemes and LULC maps in Ghana, as well as a reconnaissance survey using drones to identify the various LULC classes in the Atiwa Landscape, local stakeholders have endorsed a land mapping protocol and classification scheme aimed at promoting sustainable landscape-level decisions in the Atiwa District and Kwaebibirem Municipality of Ghana’s Eastern region.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology (KNUST), the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources (FRNR) and the Resource Management Support Centre (RMSC) of the Forestry Commission (FC), were responsible for producing these documents, which were then presented for review and validation to the rest of the stakeholders in the landscape – including small-scale farmers, private sector, civil society, academia and government at various levels.
The activity is part of the project Governing Multifunctional Landscapes in sub-Saharan Africa (GML), an initiative financed by the European Union and coordinated by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), which aims to promote zero-deforestation commodities in the Atiwa Landscape.
“For a classification scheme aimed at mapping a landscape with multi-players and multi-interest groups, it was relevant to engage all stakeholder groups,” said Winston Asante from KNUST at the validation workshops. In principle, all the stakeholders unanimously approved and endorsed the preliminary products.
“It is great that stakeholder engagements have begun early,” said Jacob Amoako, representative of the Climate Change Directorate (CCD) of the FC. “The produced land map for the Atiwa Landscape will serve as a baseline reference in the future for the REDD+ process, as they align with the national REDD+ interests in the future sustainable landscape engagements,” he added.
According to Thomas Gyambrah, representative of the National REDD+ Secretariat (NRS), “the national REDD+ Project is a collaborative process and for that reason the secretariat is open to engaging stakeholders to enable all work towards a common goal.”
Following the stakeholders’ reviews of the preliminary classification scheme, land mapping protocol and land map of the Atiwa Landscape, KNUST will produce LULC change maps for the periods of 2012 to 2015 and 2015 to 2018, followed by an accuracy and error assessment of the maps. At the national level, KNUST will also pursue validation of the classification scheme, protocol and land maps, which will be followed by a presentation of the final products to local stakeholders in the Atiwa Landscape.