The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) project, being funded by Green Economy, the Bia Bioshere Reserve (GEBR), in the Western Region, has commenced, with the presentation of start-up equipment to 200 beneficiaries in 28 communities in the area.
The ceremony attracted stakeholder from the district assembly, traditional authorities, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) and Man and Biosphere (MAB) Committee. It supported beneficiaries to undergo training in beekeeping, snail farming, palm oil extraction, mushroom farming as well as business management and marketing, this year.
The project, which is a revolving fund scheme, provides farmers with start-up materials in-kind such as beehives, snail pens, mushroom sheds and palm oil processing machines.
Mr Ebenezer Appah-Sampong, the Deputy Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a representative of MAB Committee, Mr. Prosper Kwasi Nyavor, representative of UNESCO, and Mr Kingsley Asoa-Apimah, the District Chief Executive, Juaboso District Assembly, Mr Habib Adam, the Assistant Director of Bia West District Assembly, who were present at the ceremony at Debisso Bia, advised the beneficiaries to work hard in order to ensure the success and the sustainability of the project.
Mr. Samuel Kwabena Nibree, a farmer and a project beneficiary, said the initiative would help beneficiaries to engage in income generation activities.
The GEBR project, under the auspices of the KOICA, in partnership with the UNESCO, was launched in September 2013 for a three-year period, which had been extended to November 2016.
The project is currently being implemented in three African Biosphere Reserves (BRs) in forest ecosystems namely the Bia BR, Ghana, East Usambara BR, Tanzania, and the Omo BR, Nigeria.
KOICA has provided $ 430,000 to support activity implementation in each beneficiary BR and the Ghana project is being implemented by UNESCO, in partnership with the MAB National Committee.
The Bia National Park and Bia Resource Reserve were designated as Ghana’s first biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1983.
It covers a total area of 305.62km² of the original National Park, which was later divided into 277.92km² Bia Resource Reserve and the other 77.7km,² representing the National Park. The Songor Lagoon and Ramsar Site were also declared as a biosphere reserve in 2011.