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Forest Landscape Restoration: Ghana

Assessment of forest landscape restoration potential in Ghana to contribute to REDD+ strategies for climate change mitigation, poverty alleviation and sustainable forest management


The negotiations on mitigating climate change have moved from a narrow focus on avoided deforestation to a broader approach to reduced emissions called "REDD+". The "plus" encompasses conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. The importance of forest landscape restoration in addressing climate change and other societal needs was brought home in November 2009 when the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) concluded that more than 1 billion hectares of lost forests and degraded lands worldwide present restoration opportunities that could sequester significant amounts of carbon.

Ghana, a country where gradual degradation is more of a threat to tree cover than outright deforestation, is eager to assess and harness the potential of forest landscape restoration. It is an active participant in the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and was chosen as a pilot country for the Forest Investment Program (FIP).


With support from PROFOR, IUCN and the UK government, the World Bank's Africa region lead the following analytical work in partnership with the GPFLR:

  • Preliminary national assessment of forest landscape restoration (FLR) potential, including mapping, assessment of carbon potential and economic analysis
  • Development of recommendations on the contribution of FLR within the national and global REDD+ debate and identification of opportunities for investment
  • Development and dissemination of a methodology that could benefit other countries

The project was carried out in a participatory manner to ensure that the analysis is credible and has the support of multiple stake-holders.


The activity produced forest reserve cover maps indicating whether the forests are degraded or not, but did not deliver an assessment of the potential for forest landscape restoration nationwide. There was a strong interest in Ghana in assessing the degradation status of the forest reserves against a 1995 baseline. There was also an opportunity to gain experience comparing remotely sensed and ground-based information that could later be extended to other parts of the country.

The project generated a methodology for assessing forest degradation in Ghana as well as information showing that significant degradation had indeed taken place since the last systematic assessment carried out by Hawthorne and Abu-Juam in 1995.

The methodology for assessing forest degradation involved:

  • Image acquisition and pre-processing (Landsat data between 1999 and 2010)
  • Image classification (using Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analysis) and field validation to assess mapping accuracy
  • Map composition and presentation

After the end of the PROFOR grant in September 2011, the work on forest landscape restoration assessment continued under the German-funded International Climate Initiative.

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Author : IUCN [1], PROFOR, DFID [2], World Bank [3] [1] [2] [3],,menuPK:985797~pagePK:149018~piPK:149093~theSitePK:985785,00.html
Last Updated : 05-16-2017