Governance Initiatives for Rights and Accountability in Forest Management (GIRAF) was a 4-year project (2009-2012), funded by the EU (75%) and CARE Denmark (25%).
The project increased public awareness in Ghana and enforcement of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) through the promotion of platforms for multi-stakeholder dialogue and building the capacity of CSOs to advocate and actively enhance good governance in the forest sector.
The GIRAF Project built the capacity of community-level stakeholders to participate effectively in policy, law and governance debates and supported them in effectively demanding accountability from duty bearers and advocate for local communities’ involvement in forest management. The GIRAF initiative also increased general public awareness of natural resource governance in Ghana.
GIRAF was implemented by 4 NGO partners
- CARE International as the lead Organization
- Civic Response
- Friends of the Earth-Ghana and
- Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD).
The project was implemented in 90 communities in 30 districts within 6 regions (Northern, Brong Ahafo, Central, Eastern, Western and Volta Regions) in Ghana and has linkages to civil society networks in Ivory Coast, Liberia, Cameroun and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Developed Forest Forums in 30 districts in 7 regions of Ghana (Northern, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti, Central, Western, Eastern and Volta Regions) to support wide stakeholder engagement on forest governance and link District Forest Forums up to regional and national Forest Forums.
- Transparency in the forest sector improved in the target Districts and Regions through the utilization of public audits, community transparency scorecards and making results publicly available to Target Beneficiaries.
- Increased public awareness of the value of forest resources and FLEGT in Ghana and dissemination of Ghana’s experiences to other potential VPA countries.
- NGOs and CSOs demonstrated increased capacity to undertake advocacy for improved forest governance at district, national, and international levels.
The GIRAF project extended to a second phase. The overall objective of GIRAF II was “To contribute to the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process in providing support to key stakeholder groups to undertake awareness creation and capacity building around issues that are reflected in the Ghana-EU VPA implementation plan.”
- Supported capacity building of fifty (50) members of Ghana Timber Millers Organization (GTMO), Ghana Timber Association (GTA) and other industry players to fully understand the Legality Assurance System (LAS) and make their operations compliant.
- Strengthened the capacity of fifteen (15) Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to have the competencies to carry out forest monitoring activities at different levels as a complement to the work of the Independent Monitor (IM).
- Built the capacity of one hundred (100) selected community representatives Legality Assurance System (LAS) for monitoring compliance with some basic elements of the legality definition at the local level.
- Civil society, competent and monitoring implementation of Legality Assurance Scheme (LAS).
- Timber industry competent and complying with EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).
- Communities monitoring aspects of VPA implementation and the LAS.
- Domestic lumber producers access legal timber for supply to the domestic market.
- Positive and focused civil society and private sector contributions to the implementation of VPA in Ghana.
- Concerns of civil society, the private sector and communities are integrated into the actions of the Ghana VPA process.
- Market share of Ghana timber forest products in the EU is maintained or increased.
- Stakeholders actively involved in monitoring VPA actions and results.