Field data collection for establishing tree cover monitoring service in Northern Ghana

Behind the Lens of Healthy Forests for Healthy People: Forest Monitoring in Ghana

By Climatelinks

This blog series features interviews with the winners of the 2020 Climatelinks Photo Contest. This photo, submitted on behalf of SERVIR West Africa, is available on the Climatelinks Photo Gallery.

Can you tell us the story behind the photo?

Mr. Isaac Kofi Ntori, Project Officer, and Miss Emmanuella Kyeremaa are responsible for community mobilization and gender responsive natural resources management in local communities in West Gonja District in Ghana’s northern savanna region. Here they are collecting field data to help plan forest restoration activities in areas degraded by charcoal production. As part of efforts to develop a web-based monitoring service for monitoring charcoal production sites, Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS) and A Rocha-Ghana have been collaborating with communities to collect field data for the estimation of above ground biomass in the project area and develop a tool to identify and monitor charcoal production sites and survey tree cover density change. 

As the photographer, what does this photo mean to you? 

Collaborating with local communities to co-develop forest resource monitoring systems is a way to build sustainable forest management. If community stakeholders are properly engaged from the onset, it engenders trust and information sharing, and facilitates decisions on nature-based solutions at the community level.

This year’s theme was “Healthy Forests for Healthy People.” Tell us more about how your photo relates to the theme. 

Rural communities in most developing countries depend heavily on forest resources for their livelihoods and domestic energy needs, especially charcoal production. But this inefficient and unsustainable technology has long-term negative implications for the health of forest ecosystems. Regular monitoring of forests provides data for developing mitigation and adaptation strategies.

How does this photo show work that is being done to combat climate change?

Local-level stakeholder engagement ensures co-development and co-ownership of tools and monitoring systems. Co-development activities also provide a platform for useful community advocacy, sensitization, and education for designing climate change adaptation, mitigation, and behavior change interventions.

The Climatelinks community is encouraged to submit new photos to the gallery through this submission form.

Strategic Objective
Adaptation, Mitigation
Adaptation, Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification, Forestry, Sustainable Land Management, Mitigation, Natural Resource Management, Resilience, Self-Reliance, Sustainable Landscapes



Climatelinks is a global knowledge portal for USAID staff, implementing partners, and the broader community working at the intersection of climate change and international development. The portal curates and archives technical guidance and knowledge related to USAID’s work to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. 

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