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Mainstreaming Drylands Development Issues in National, District and Community Level Development Policies, Plans and Programmes within the Context of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification

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The drylands in Ghana fall within three administrative regions namely the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions also known as the Northern Savanna Ecological zone. This covers approximately 41% of total land area of the country, and is home to about 17.2% of country’s population. Approximately 70-80% of the population living here are engaged in agriculture and mostly practice rain-fed, small scale, low input subsistence agriculture, an approach that makes them highly dependent on natural resources and eco-systems services for their livelihoods. This makes them extremely vulnerable to environmental stress/shocks.

The programme in Ghana has been implemented in 6 drylands districts namely, Savelugu - Nanton and West Mamprusi Districts in the Northern Region; Talensi-Nabdam, Bawku West and Garu-Tempane Districts in the Upper East Region and Lawra District in the Upper West Region. The programme was developed and implemented as a component of the Integrated Drylands Development Programme (IDDP) and funded through resources provided by the Government of Denmark, Government of Turkey and the European Commission/ European Union. The lead implementing partner at country level is the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency (National Desertification Secretariat-Coordinating). The other implementing partners are: Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies; District Agricultural Development Units of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Ministry of Local Government Rural Development; Forestry Service Division of the Forestry Commission; National Development Planning Commission; and UNDP Country Office.

The goal of the program is to mainstream drylands development issues into national, district and community plans as a way of ensuring sustainable environmental management and poverty reduction within the context of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Ghana. This report summarizes program objectives, expected outcomes, key achievements and challenges and constraints.

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