Forest Forums

The forest forum concept was introduced in Ghana in 2002 by the Forestry Commission of Ghana to establish linkages among civil society actors, communities, industry public sector institutions and policy makers towards addressing the challenges that beset the forest sector in Ghana. The process continues to be promoted by civil society organisations as a viable means of stimulating active engagement of all stakeholders of the forest sector in Ghana. Civic Response works with other NGOs and community-based organisations to facilitate forest forums across Ghana. The forum provides a democratic platform or space for discussing real issues that affect forest sector stakeholders, particularly forest fringe communities. The process seeks to achieve:

Sharing and exchange of ideas and proposals for inclusion in policy analysis and implementation. Opportunities for the voices of different stakeholders to be incorporated in the forestand land policy decision making process. Monitoring and evaluation of progress and impacts of policy implementation

Creation of channels for information flow among civil society actors, resource owners,communities, industry and the Forestry Commission (FC)

Facilitate linkage between sub District (communities), District,Regional and National forest forums and strategies for influencing national policy

Promotion of active participation of forest sector stakeholders in discussions of forest sector issues including land and tree tenure.

FOREST COMMUNITY FORUM

Communities are the most important unit of the forest forum process. Forest fringe communities depend almost entirely on forest resources for livelihoods. Their activities take place both in forest reserves and off-reserves.

DISTRICT FOREST FORUM

The district forest forum is the first level of policy engagement. Representatives of the various communities within the district meet for capacity building and policy discussions in relation to issues which have been identified by the communities.

ZONAL FOREST FORUM

The Zonal forest forums bring together several districts with similar issues for discussion and policy uptake. The districts are categorised based on Ghana’s ecological zones, namely savannah, transition and high forest zones.

NATIONAL FOREST FORUM

The national forest forum NFF is the culmination of all forum activities. Key policy issues are raised and discussed at the event and policy makers are invited to address them. All district forest forums are represented at this event.

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