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Research and Communication


The developed world has achieved much success in inventions and industrialisation because of their governments’ commitments to providing resources for research. Perhaps the great disparity between the economies of developed and third world countries lie in the level and commitment to use research outcomes in policies and practice. Development practitioners seemed to have misunderstood the intrinsic dependency on ecosystems services; while policy makers undervalued the critical importance of local stakeholders’ knowledge in formulating policies and procedures for managing the ecosystems.  Since establishment, COMWELF realised the value of participatory action research in contributing to sustainable development in Ghana. We have collaborated with many National Agriculture and Forestry Research Centres (NAFRC) to conduct participatory research in roots and tubers production and marketing; integrated crops and pests management (ICPM); agroforestry systems and technologies; soil fertility improvements; sustainable forestry and woodland management; sustainable traditional biomass energy systems; and land policy-community practice linkages. We have recruited core staffs, with at least master degrees, who have expertise to participate in participatory research on various aspects of ecosystems conservation and management. Our research partners in Ghana have included Crops and Forestry Research Institutes, in Kumasi; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology; University of Cape Coast’s Department of Geography and Regional Planning; and Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, Tamale; Ministry of Food & Agriculture (Upper East Secretariat), Irrigation Company of Upper Regions (ICOUR) and Ghana Information Network in Knowledge Sharing (GINKS). Our overseas partners have been University of Leeds’ School of Earth & Environment; University of Guelph, Canada; International Food Policy Research Institute (former ISNAR); Farm Radio International, Canada. We are currently increasing our international partners by bringing in many EU, India, USA and Malaysian Institutes for research and development initiatives in local communities in northern Ghana and Brong Ahafo Regions.

From his PhD research, COMWELF’s Director discovered four key drivers of wetland degradation and developed a new social-ecological framework linking drivers and ecosystems condition. His Governance-Livelihoods-Ecosystems-Climate-Technology (GLECT) framework will contribute to our understanding about the effects of the drivers on ecosystems and biodiversity, the building blocks of livelihoods and economic development. COMWELF is about to conduct participatory research on “Rural Land Planning Project”, which integrates the application of traditional survey methodologies with new ICTs tools, including GIS/Remote Sensing for land cover assessments and mapping to determine degraded and threatened ecosystems in Ghana. This will provide outcomes for evidence-based decision support systems to improve ecosystem management for sustainability. The “Rural Land Planning Project” is a component of our “Ecosystems and Poverty Theme”, which will lead to local land planning to optimise natural resource utilisation and conservation. Together with our partners, we are developing detailed proposals and will post information in this section soon. Please continue to visit our website for more information.

COMWELF has pioneered innovative communication systems in disseminating scientific and policy information to local stakeholders, many of whom are not adequately literate in English to understand the complexity of environmental debates and policy instruments. By partnering with communication experts and multimedia networks, we have been able to bridge the knowledge divide and bring relevant information to the door-steps of poor disadvantaged communities in remote areas of Ghana. Using mainly rural radio networks, we have bridged the digital divide between rural and urban centres. We even now more poised to break down communication barriers with our new strategy of working with the Non Formal Education Division (NFED) to bring information on sustainable development to rural communities in the languages and dialects that they understand. We look forward to your support in address rural knowledge gaps about the importance of ecosystems services and ways to increase ecosystems productivity and sustainability. Please donate money and ICTs equipment to support our “Communication for Development (C4D) Programme.


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