About 250 newly elected executives of the Ayum-Asuokow Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) in the Brong Ahafo Region, have been trained to enhance individual skills on effective natural resources management, and this includes 75 women out of the total number of trainees.
The training, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), with support from Mondelēz International, was held in Kasapin in the Brong Ahafo Region within a four-day period.
The new executives are from 36 different communities that constitute the Ayum-Asuokow CREMA, which is being supported under the project entitled "Environmentally Sustainable Production Practices in Cocoa Landscapes (ESP II)".
The capacity development programme followed recommendations by community resources managers during a recent National Policy Dialogue on how to strengthen CREMAs in Ghana.
Community mobilization for effective natural resources management; leadership skills; fund raising; and stakeholder engagement are the key areas the training focused on.
It aimed to boost the capacity of the new CREMA executives to operate independently and effectively in the management of natural resources in their respective communities.
Findings from the National Policy Dialogue indicated that most CREMAs usually collapse after projects implementers leave the communities, hence the need for the capacity development programme, which is expected to equip the CREMAs to continue executing their mandate of conserving their community resources after the implementing partners end their projects and exit the communities.
In a bid to make the CREMA efficient without relying on external support, the project implementers donated a motorbike and office logistics, which include a desktop computer, a 3-in-1 printer, and rims of paper.
Representing the Paramount Chief of the Mim Traditional Council, Okofrobour Dr. Yaw Agyei II, at the handing over ceremony were two sub-chiefs, Nana Baffour Awua II and Nana Afia Serwaa, who thanked the project implementers for the donation.
Similarly, the Chairman of the CREMA Executive Committee, Mr. Daniel Amponsah Gyinayeh, expressed appreciation on behalf of the CREMA.
"we discussed this possibility some time ago, but we didn't expect this to happen so soon. We are grateful to UNDP and Mondelez International Cocoa Life Program for this. We will put it to use as we continue to build a strong community landscape management system to facilitate the sustainable use of our natural resources" he said.
The CREMA idea was implemented by Ghana as a collaborative and inclusive natural resources governance and management framework. It aims to phase out exclusive conservation practices, to recognize and foster local community participation and responsibility in the conservation of natural resources in Ghana.