Ghana adopted the establishment and development of Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) as an integrated land use management approach to securing biodiversity and livelihoods in protected and off-reserve areas in 2000. Since then, government and civil society in the forestry sector have made conscious efforts to optimize the functions and structures of CREMAs to meet the policy aims of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission Ghana.
A Rocha Ghana has within the period of five years facilitated the establishment of two CREMA in off-reserve areas around Mole National Park, Ghana´s largest protected Area. This work has been possible with small grant funding from IUCN-NL DAS and EGP. The Muguru-Mognori CREMA and the Kumbo CREMA which constitute Yazori and Kaden have seen the establishment of physical structures that constitute the CREMA and development of a variety of livelihood interventions.
Operating below optimum functional capacity level, there is no doubt that, CREMAs have contributed to slowing deforestation and reducing unsustainable natural resource use within the immediate catchment of Mole National Park. The CREMA have helped to improve the relationship between the management of Mole National Park and the fringe communities, which hitherto was hostile and uncooperative. The CREMAs have also served well as a platform for increasing community participation in local, regional and national level dialogue on natural resource governance. The elaborate collaboration and considerations for traditional knowledge and leadership systems, have identified the CREMAs as having great potential for REDD plus in Ghana´s Readiness Preparation Proposal.
This poster will therefore explore actions to optimize the functional role of CREMAs for improved biodiversity conservation by rural communities as well increase opportunities for environmental security through the promotion and support for sustainable livelihoods in socio-ecological production zones.