Consultancy Services Required
Consultancy on Impacts and Dependencies of Private Sector Operatives within the Atewa Landscape
Job Category: Consultancy Service
Job Function: Project
Application Deadline: 4th October, 2021
The Atewa Forest Reserve, located in the Eastern Region of Ghana and 90km north of Ghana’s capital, Accra; forms part of the Upper Guinean forests of West Africa. It covers an area of approximatively 236 km2. It is one of only two reserves with upland evergreen ecosystem forest classification in Ghana. The forest consists of a core zone designated as ‘Atewa Range Forest Reserve’ and a surrounding buffer zone delineated at 200 m altitude and composed of farmlands and communities. The Atewa forest reserve is fringed by about 48 communities.
Atewa Forest forms the headwaters of three major rivers: the Ayensu, the Densu and the Birim which are the source of drinking water for millions of Ghanaians – approximately five million people in Eastern, Central and Greater Accra regions of Ghana, including over one million people in Accra alone. A primary objective for the reservation of the forest in 1926 was to protect the headwaters of these major rivers and their tributaries.
Ecologically, the Forest Reserve retains a very high diversity of species, many of which are of global significance. Notably among them are Mylothis atewa, Anthene helpsi and Conraua derooi which are all endemic.
Socio-economically, communities fringing the forest have over the years benefitted from the production of high-end agro-commodities like cocoa, palm oil and several food crops and vegetables with varying impacts positive and negative in the landscape. The forest landscape also provides significant Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) such as bush meat, medicinal plants, food, fibre, fruits and spices which contribute significantly to local livelihoods.
However, in the last one and a half decades, miners have taken siege in the landscape to explore the considerable gold deposits found in the area. It is also worth mentioning that agriculture is the main livelihood of the fringe communities. They have strategically settled around the forest because of the conducive micro-climate it creates for farming. A number of other private businesses including those in the agro-commodity produce buying sector and manufacturing that depend directly or indirectly on natural resources and ecosystem service have also been attracted to this landscape.
A range of private sector companies are active in the product value chains of the Atewa landscape, directly or indirectly. These private sector companies play a critical role in determining how ecosystem services and biodiversity is used and conserved. In some areas where there is little awareness around biodiversity, business and biodiversity platforms have been established in order to help companies understand the importance of investing in and protecting biodiversity and securing ecosystem services. Besides encouraging companies to collaborate on conservation projects, platforms also give companies the opportunity to build their awareness and capacity for sustainability. These platforms ultimately inspire and help companies to incorporate biodiversity considerations into their core business operations.
In the Atewa Landscape, private sector activities depend on the natural resources and ecosystem services of the Atewa Forest and surrounding areas in varying degrees and have impacts on them. These dependencies and impacts have not been examined or evaluated extensively as yet.
A research into the dependencies and impacts of private sector activities on natural resources, ecosystem services and biodiversity is necessary to contribute to identifying and valuing the importance of Atewa Forest for sustaining these private sector activities, as well as highlighting how companies could be undermining the sustainability of their own businesses or otherwise by a deplorable and unsustainable forest landscape
Outcomes of this research will help to engage the private sector to support protection and sustainable management of Atewa Forest. A landscape business platform will be established targeting private sector companies in the Atewa landscape.
The main objectives of the consultancy are to
- Develop innovative participatory monitoring system for sustainable management of critical ecosystems
- Strengthen the knowledge base for international designation for Atewa
- Engage the private sector to support protection and sustainable management of Atewa Forest
Target area: Private businesses within the following MMDAs (Abuakwa South, Fanteakwa South, Atewa West, Kwaebiberim, Denkyembuor, West Akim and Ayensuano)
Please find attached Terms of Reference HERE
NB: Financial and Technical Proposals for this assignment should be submitted by close of day, October 4, 2021.