Project title Enhancing the natural capital's contribution to green growth through improved decision making regarding biodiversity and ecosystem services
Implementing Institutions 1. Optimal Development Consult, Community 17, Old Lashibi, Ghana

2. A Rocha Ghana, 10 Wawa Street, Kokomlemle, Ghana

3. Ghana Forestry Commission, Corporate Head office, near GIMPA, Legon, Ghana

Country(ies) Ghana
Abstract The natural capital of Ghana which plays a significant part in the socio-economic development of the country is over-exploited leading to degradation costs of over 10% of GDP. While the real cost of environmental degradation is not factored in development planning, externalities associated with economic growth are not adequately accounted for and used in planning and decision making.

This project aims to contribute to sustainable economic growth by investing in developing the tools, systems as well as building the human capital for ecosystem assessments to inform policy and decision making.

Project Description The natural capital of Ghana plays a significant part in the socio-economic development of the country. As a result the country relies heavily on exploitation of natural resources to its drive economic growth. The cost of environmental degradation in Ghana’s major natural resource sectors was between 5 to 10% as at 2010. The forestry sector accounted for 63% of the cost equivalent to USD 500 million.

The real cost of environmental degradation is not factored in development planning. As a result externalities associated with economic growth are not adequately accounted for and used in planning and decision making.

The government’s medium term development priorities capture the need to sustainably exploit Ghana’s natural resource endowments to promote broad-based, inclusive and sustainable growth. This signals the government’s intention to internalize externalities in production and economic growth. This project aims to contribute to the building of human capital, skills, information and the processes to aid sound decision making using tailor-made capacity building strategies and actions.

The choice of partnership between public, non-governmental organization and a private entity is to signal and develop a paradigm of collaboration for sustainability of the initiative utilising the comparative advantages and strengths of the institutions involved.

The project will leverage on-going initiative in the forestry sector by taking a holistic, long term and strategic approach to building national level skills and capacity for biodiversity and ecosystem services assessments.

Project Objectives and expected Achievables The goal of the project is to contribute to sustainable economic growth through enhancement of the natural capital of Ghana by improving the human capital, tools and processes for decision making in relation to biodiversity and ecosystem services.

The expected outcomes and impacts of the project include:

1. At least 30% increase in jobs created and sustained through engagement of Ghanaians especially the youth in sustainable development paths by 2020

2. At least 50% reduction in emissions from unsustainable production and consumption practices in the natural resources industry in Ghana by 2020

3. At least 50% reduction in costs of environmental degradation as compared with the GDP by 2020

4. At least 30% increase in the natural capital (flora and fauna) of Ghana by 2020

In order to achieve these, the project will specifically:

1. Develop a comprehensive set of tools, systems as well as develop the human capital for biodiversity and ecosystem assessments to support policy and decision making;

2. Identify and develop policy tools at the national and local level for uptake of the knowledge from assessments in policy design and decision making;

3. Demonstrate enhanced capacity by assessing two specific priority habitats and ecosystems for improved decision making and management and

4. Develop a networking facility for continuous upgrade of skills and information and sharing of knowledge products

The expected outputs/deliverables, methods of data collection and milestones of the project are:

1. Tools and systems developed and deployed driven by informed choices from biodiversity and ecosystem assessment results

Method: Reports through tender documents, assets register

2. At least 100 public and private lower and middle level practitioners trained in biodiversity and ecosystem assessment on different initiatives using different methodologies and approaches

Method: Survey, Reports

3. A biodiversity and ecosystem assessment report for Mole and Kakum National parks

Method: Survey, Reports

4. A networking facility known as “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Working Group” created and at least 9 meetings held during the life span of the project but also able to meet  regularly with government, civil society and private support after the project

Method: Survey, Reports

5. More than 1000 copies of different knowledge materials developed and distributed to different stakeholders

Method: Reports, Copies of materials

6. At least two policy documents drafted and presented to cabinet for approval on the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in economic decision making; draft policy document adopted and adapted to suit local context in at least 2 districts

Method: Reports, copies of documents developed

Timeline of milestones (divided into quarters and year where quarter is Q and year is Y)

1. Steering committee of the project constituted, personnel recruited, equipment purchased, administrative systems operational: Q1, 2, Y1

2. Baseline of project established: Q2, 3, Y1

3. Capacity needs assessment conducted: Q3, Y1

4. Tools and systems for biodiversity and ecosystem assessment developed: Q3, 4; Y1

5. First cohort of trainees identified: Q1, Y2

6. Modular course developed: Q1, 2, Y2

7. Training/capacity building using tools and systems developed: Q3, 4, Y2

8. Assessment of Mole and Kakum national park completed: Q 3, 4, Y2; Q1, Q2, Y3

9. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Working Group constituted and holds first meeting: Q1, Y1

10. Policy documents drafted: Q2, 3, Y3

11. Copies of knowledge materials generated: Q 2, 3, Y2; Q2, 3, Y3

12. Mid-term and final evaluation of project: Q3, Y2; Q4, Y3

Timeframe 3 years
Geographic Scale National
Seeking Resources for: Project implementation
Type of Resources/Support needed: Financial, Technical
Name of organisation: 
Project relevance: 
Projects and activities of interest to IPBES and partners