FMNR Outreach Programme in Ghana – Ayopia Community

May 20, 2015

The Movement for Natural Regeneration (MONAR), an environmental Non-governmental Organization (NGO) based in Bolgatanga of Northern Ghana is telling the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) success story under moonlight. Staff of MONAR led by its founder, Norbert Akolbila on May 16, 2015 visited Ayopia Community in Bongo District of Northern Ghana at night to sensitize the chiefs and people of the area on the importance of adopting FMNR to re-green their degraded communal and farm lands. Under the bright moonlight supported by generated powered electricity, the MONAR team showed FMNR VIDEOs and pictorial PowerPoint presentations aimed at drawing attention to local environmental degradation issues for discussion.

Norbert (shown in the picture on top), a passionate advocate of FMNR facilitated the discussions, and said the activity was part of MONAR’s community engagement process prior to piloting FMNR in the community.  The community people were deeply moved during discussions on the past, present and future conditions of their environment following the presentations. An old man remarked “The good thing I know of the present is that, there are now schools for our children to attend as we did not have any, all other things about the environment is getting worse every day”. Participants recounted the good old days when their streams provided water year-round for their animals and for other domestic uses, the greenery environment due to the presence of many trees, and the good yields from their farms. However, they said the situation has changed within the past three or so decades due to inappropriate land use and management practices. Some participants, who have heard of the progress FMNR is making to restore degraded lands in Talensi, hoped they could also count on MONAR to introduce the concept in their community as soon as possible. The pictorial presentation on the difference FMNR makes on the environment and for that matter livelihoods gave hope to the community.

It was a special night for the MONAR team comprising Norbert Akolbila, Samuel Mbura (Volunteer Field Officer) and Pubeng Christopher (Volunteer Accounts Officer). More than 600 community members made up of men, women and children including the Chief and Assemblyman for the area attended the programme. Norbert Akolbila in his closing address remarked: “I have never met such a large crowd at an outreach programme at night. Even if a quarter of you people take this story seriously and practice FMNR it will make a difference”. He thanked the chiefs and people of the community for their enthusiasm around FMNR, and said his organization will work with the traditional structures and other partners to launch FMNR in the area. The community has already selected 20 FMNR pilot farmers made up of 10 women and 10 men, who were inaugurated after the sensitization session.

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) is a simple and cost effective technique for land restoration and re-vegetation of degraded lands. It involves the systematic re-growth and management of trees and shrubs from tree stumps, sprouting root systems or seeds. It involves pruning and thinning of stems and branches and the protection of re-growth from threats such as fire, livestock or human damage.

Movement for Natural Regeneration (MONAR). MONAR provides training and consultancy on Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration in Ghana and across Africa. For more information contact Norbert Akolbila (Executive Director)