Sustainable Landscape Management in Northern Savannah Zone of Ghana

Sunrise at Crater Lake in Bosumtwi near Kumasi

Program Summary

PROGREEN is supporting the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP) in implementing cross-sectoral land-use planning and management in the country’s Northern Savannah Zone (NSZ).  The objective of the project is to strengthen natural resource management and increase benefits to communities in targeted savannah and cocoa forest landscapes. The project has three main components: 

  1. Institutional Strengthening for Participatory Landscape Management 
  2. Enhanced Governance in Support of Sustainable Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) 
  3. Sustainable Crop and Forest Landscape Management 

Support includes on-ground investments to scale up and expand community-based land-use planning and management, and analytical work and technical assistance to catalyze consensus and influence policy and regulations in support of greening investments.  The target area includes 13 sub-basins in the Northern Savannah Zone and Forest and Transition Zones.  

The PROGREEN funding is part of a package of support including IDA and GEF financing (USD 112.76 million) targeting sustainable land use planning that fosters land restoration for food security income diversification while promoting biodiversity conservation.


The Northern Savannah Zone in Ghana is an economically lagging area that has experienced higher deforestation compared to the national average, long dry spells, high soil erosion, and high vulnerability to climate change—all factors that threaten livelihoods and food production. It is also a priority zone for landscape restoration under Ghana’s AFR100 commitment. Competing land and water uses from farming, small-scale mining, and forestry often lead to trade-offs in terms of access to resources, even though households are often engaged in a variety of economic activities on subsistence basis. The annual cost of environmental degradation is about US$6.3 billion, or 10.7 percent of Ghana’s GDP, as documented in the World Bank Country Environmental Analysis (March 2020). The Government recognizes this economic and human cost of environmental decline and is committed to pursuing the green development agenda. The government’s strategic shift to proactively promote integrated landscape management opens up a possibility to tap the full potential to support sustainable multiple land uses that would foster adaptation, resilience, and economic prosperity while providing critical biodiversity and ecosystem services with appropriate incentives.


PROGREEN activities will bring together cross-sectoral perspectives to landscape management and improve coordination for landscape management by focusing on mining licensing, improving standards for cashew production, processing and marketing, and the governance of CREMAs. The program will catalyze and influence policy and regulations in the target landscape in Northern Ghana with the following activities:

  1. Scale up and expand existing community-based land use planning and management to new areas in the Northern Savannah
  2. Include local mining committees in the planning and management process. 
  3. Include facilitating access to market information and linkages between farmers associations and processors for the cashew value chain. 

The transformative nature of the PROGREEN support will come from giving community level institutions and cashew farmers the incentives, knowledge, and tools to improve farm level outcomes and gain local benefits from managing trees and forest mosaics within the larger landscape, while also enhancing co-benefits associated with increased tree cover and maintained integrity of natural assets 

[Expected] Results

The proposed program will directly cover at least 80,000 ha of conservation landscapes under sustainable use and at least 620,000 ha of production landscapes under sustainable use. The program will aim to protect 6 key habitats / gazetted areas, including Mole National Park and five Forest Reserves. Through engagement at the policy and regulatory level, the PROGREEN program will influence the dialogue and impact the practices related to participatory management of biological corridors (by CREMA communities), agroecological production and quality standards for cashew and greening the ASM practices. Positive achievements from the PROGREEN investments will be further scaled up through investments by the private sector, government, and its development partners. 

The main beneficiaries of the proposed program are CREMA communities investing in landscape planning and management and benefitting from improved livelihoods activities and services derived from improved landscape management, small-scale food crop and tree crop (cashew) farmers investing in improved practices for crop production, and ASM miners who will benefit from training, safer operating environment, and alternative livelihoods support.