Low carbon integrated wood energy supply chain enterprise development to enhance community climate resilience and poverty reduction in the Black Volta Basin landscape of Ghana
Low carbon integrated wood energy supply chain enterprise development to enhance community climate resilience and poverty reduction in the Black Volta Basin landscape of Ghana
The primary objective and specific objectives of the proposed project

The primary objective of this up-scaling project will focus on promoting grassroot renewable energy solution to respond to the increasing demand of wood energy in Ghana while generating multiple co-benefits contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The specific objectives are:
1) Develop capacity of local charcoal producers with the use of improved carbonization metal kilns for charcoal production activities.
2) Support charcoal producers to mainstreaming eco-certification of sustainable wood fuel production
3) Promote renewable and energy efficient technologies while providing socio-economic benefits and improving livelihood.
4) Support and encourage landscape restoration and plantation establishment on degraded lands to reduce carbon emissions and for charcoal as a renewable source of energy
The full description of the rationale (justification) for the project.
Woodfuel industry holds potential to reduce rural poverty through employment generation and ability to increase households’ income as well as improve environmental sustainability if production technology improves and the industry is regulated. The current business as usual scenario along the value chain is highly unsustainable and with the increasing demand, woodfuel production will be the largest cause of the qualitative and quantitative depletion of the forest and woodland resources in the Black Volta Basin after agriculture and wildfire. This, however, could be achieved by providing a platform necessary to develop multiple scales of partnerships and encourage coordinated state policy on the woodfuel value chain. Sustainable management of the woodfuel will provide a low-cost renewable and efficient energy source while reducing GHG emission and contributing to poverty alleviation.
Our project is focusing on addressing the critical threats that have characterized the Black Volta Basin Landscape. Our interventions will address over-exploitation of natural resources and other tree species for wood energy; high incidences of wildfire caused by the opportunistic charcoal production; and the increase conversion of forest landscape for agricultural production due to decline in soil productivity. Furthermore, the project will address land cover-change and transformation that prevent protection and habitats for wildlife species; climate change and rising atmospheric CO2 from unsustainable agriculture; loss of biodiversity and decline in other species; and solve increasing poverty levels within the Black Volta Basin communities.

Our strategy involves working with the local charcoal producers, the local chiefs and traditional authorities as well project partners to establish functional charcoal production and supply chain enterprises with improved charcoal kiln production technology. Here we are interested in developing social enterprises that support economic development for the rural people within the Black Volta Basin. This would be completed through policy directives and strategies that promote woodland management for renewable and efficient energy production.

The project will engage the Chamber of Commerce and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) to promote and mainstreaming of eco-certification of the charcoal production. This eco-certification scheme will enable the charcoal produced through this system earn higher pricing than opportunistic charcoal production and this encourage sustainable charcoal production and woodfuel plantation establishment.

Local producers lack the relevant production skills and financial resources to use better technology. There is no formal training in charcoal production technologies. This has resulted in waste and low yields of charcoal. The project will provide capacity training in the use of kiln carbonization charcoal production technology. The project will support and encourage registration of commercial Charcoal Producers Associations through the regulatory bodies. The aim of forming the production associations is to create a legal entity that will be allowed to develop the charcoal production within a designated area. This will also provide a chance for the private sector involvement to offer business opportunity training at all levels in production and marketing techniques.
In partnership with District Assemblies and traditional authorities and regulatory institutions the project will encourage legislation and bylaws to promote the production of commercial woodfuel from sustainably managed woodlands. Through Forest Service Division we will work collaboratively with the registered charcoal associations with resource development programmes aimed at reforesting suitable harvested sites and rehabilitating degraded woodland through natural regeneration and planting by the local community.
This project will promote collective management of transboundary water systems and contribute to the sustainable use and maintenance of ecosystem services while developing the Black Volta Basin as a target for landscape and waterscape conservation. Our proposed project falls within the GEF/SGP thematic scope of: Low Carbon Energy Access Co-benefits; Community Landscape; and Forest lands.
The project aligns well with the SGP OP7 Strategic Initiatives -Global of low-carbon energy access co-benefits, and the SGP Ghana programme’s OP7 Priorities of support the mainstreaming of eco-certification sustainable woodfuel production and efficient renewable energy technologies within the Black Volta Basin Landscape for improved livelihood. In addition, the project links into the GEF/SGP Ghana’s complementarity with GEF, UNDP and programmes and fits into the UNDP SDG thematic outcome 2: Energy & Mitigation and addresses actions under National Climate Change Policy. Furthermore, our proposed project addresses the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy;
SDG 8: Decent work and Economic Growth (promote policies that encourages entrepreneurship and job creation); and
SDG 15: Life on Land (conserve and restore the use of terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, drylands and mountains by 2030.
The Project components/outcomes that the project will produce.
The following are expected results from the project:
1. Promote and mainstreaming of eco-certification of charcoal production. This outcome will register charcoal producers with the Chamber of Commerce and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) to eco-certify 2,000 bags of charcoal (approximately 107,000kg of biomass) charcoal by the end of project implementation period.
2. Build capacity of charcoal producers with the use of improved carbonization metal kiln production technology for charcoal production to produce low-carbon and efficient renewable wood energy.
3. Encourage regeneration and rehabilitation of natural woodlands for wood energy production. This outcome will establish 10 hectares of woodfuel plantation on degraded lands for charcoal production to increase the total woodfuel plantation from the current 20 hectares to 30 hectares.
4. Reduce deforestation caused by wildfire and cutting of trees from the natural vegetation for charcoal production. This will conserve approximately 500 hectares of forest landbase from deforestation.
5. Build capacity of the charcoal producers to establish digital banking system. This will provide income security, reduce poverty and improve social and economic life for the charcoal producers.
Methodology for: i) Consultations and awareness raising among key stakeholders including national and local authorities, CBD focal points and government representatives responsible on forestry, fisheries, tourism, etc. ii) Assessment and identification of possible and favourable institutionalization/mainstreaming, including sustainable financing opportunities and mechanisms; iii) Policy dialogue among stakeholders, including identifying key follow up steps.
The project will employ mixed methods to engage with the key project stakeholders to solicit their input to achieve desirable outcomes. We will apply community-wide sensitization, focus group discussion, community meetings and open-ended questionnaires to engage the charcoal producers. This will be complemented with capacity development, knowledge sharing, and exchanges and lesson learned.
Baseline study has provided opportunity to consult and sensitize the traditional and local authorities on actionable strategy to regulate and streamline charcoal production within their traditional areas. Our presence in the communities is an asset to successful project implementation.
A high-level policy dialogue and workshop will be organized to bring together heads of state institutions and other civil society organisations to develop a sustainable charcoal production and consumption policy strategy to Government for adoption and implementation.
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Project Snapshot

Sustainable Agroforestry Initiative
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 31,800.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 1,019,800.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 20,900.00
Project Number:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Planning non gef grant
AFR100 has provided funding for the scaling up of the project up to 2025.
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
All the participant are local people.
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Number of innovations or new technologies developed / applied 3
Number of local policies informed in climate change focal area 1
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 2
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 1
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 100
Number of indigenous people participated/involved in SGP project 120
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 120
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 120

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Ms. Lois Sarpong
+233 505740909


UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302