Mr. Boateng has, since 1984, trained over 60,000 villagers in how to prevent and control forest and bush fires in Ghana. His efforts have made a significant impact and has resulted in important financial savings.
Amasachina Self-Help Association
This voluntary organization has promoted self-sufficiency and environmental improvement in rural Ghana since 1967. The association has helped more than 300 villages acquire safe drinking water promoted tree-planting in nearly 100 villages and constructed over 100 dams for small-scale irrigation.
National Mobilization Programme (NMP)
NMP was established in 1983 to mobilise human and material resources to rehabilitate key sectors of the Ghanaian economy. NMP has organised volunteers in towns and villages to identify pressing ecological and social problems and help solve them. Over 200,000 volunteers have planted millions of cocoa seedlings and rehabilitated several thousand acres of burnt out cocoa farms, thus helping to increase output of cocoa, the main export crop. Volunteers of NMP are also active in bushfire suppression and improvement of village wells and sanitation. In 1983, the NMP successfully organised the evacuation and resettlement of 1.2 million Ghanaians repatriated from Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire, thus avoiding a potential environmental disaster.
Mike Anane, an environmental journalist, has helped to raise environmental awareness in Ghana. As editor and environment writer of the Triumph newspaper (1991-1995), his gutsy articles brought to the fore the alarming rate of environmental destruction in the country. His campaigns calling for the closure of an asbestos products factory shook the country's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Environment from their slumber. His articles, particularly those dealing with toxic waste, earned him many enemies who threatened his life. Undaunted, he went on to challenge the Parliament and EPA to investigate the matter. Their inquiry concurred with Anane's position and they recommended that the culprits be punished. His writings caught the attention of the British High Commission and he was awarded the British Chevening Scholarship for further studies. Upon his return, he wrote a book Covering the Environment - A Guide to Environmental Journalism in Developing Countries whose aim is to encourage journalists and editors to report on the environment and to make these stories interesting to the public. He also established an International Centre for Environmental Journalism based in Accra, which seeks to motivate the media to take a more serious interest in the environment. As founder of the League of Environmental Journalists in Ghana, he organized workshops to equip journalists to report on the environment since neither of the two media training institutions offer courses in environmental reporting.
P. B. K. L. Agyirey-Kwakye
In March 1994, Agyirey-Kwakye, a then secondary school student with some experience in tree planting and farming, due to his association with his forester father, moved to Kumikrom in Asamonkese District where the main occupation of the young people was the cutting of wood for fuel. Upon his arrival there in 1994, and knowing that the community did not have any knowledge about tree planting and the need to reforest felled areas, he set up a nursery with various species, but primarily eucalyptus trees. When the seedlings were ready for planting, he set up an agroforestry demonstration farm by planting between the trees plantain, pawpaw and cocoyams. He gave some of the trees to landless farmers for planting. Six months later, when it was time to harvest, the trees had grown significantly. This created the impression in the community that tree planting was possible and that results could be achieved quickly. In 1996, he organized a group of farmers, including 23 women, who were interested in planting nitrogen trees which they could use for firewood and as forage for their livestock. He supplied 14 farmers with 2,000 eucalyptus seedlings, which they planted on their farms. By the end of 1996, 290 farmers had submitted their names to be supplied with seedlings. He is preparing to supply 10,000 seedlings to farmers in 1998. All of these activities have contributed to renewable energy, soil conservation and environmental education.
Sampson Osew Larbi
Sampson Osew Larbi of Ghana has been encouraging resource-poor farmers to farm by adopting the slash and mulch farming system (SMS) instead of the slash and burn method - all in an effort to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and to create better atmospheric conditions for farming in the Twifu rural communities. Between 1987 and 1990, he organized 800 farmers, including 120 women, to plant 400,000 cocoa and 20,000 oil palm seedlings using SMS. Between 1994 and 1998, he nursed 200,000 eucalyptus, MPTS and NFT seedlings and supplied them to 250 farmers to plant through SMS without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, thus creating a balanced ecosystem capable of supporting sustainable agricultural production. In an effort to alleviate poverty, environmental education and training is given to women and the landless to plant vegetables. For 1999, preparations are underway to produce 500,000 eucalyptus, casuarina and NFT seedlings through flying and private nurseries, which will be planted by 600 farmers. Thanks to Mr. Larbi's efforts, plantations of eucalyptus, MPTS and NFT are being prepared for fuel and poles for use by local farmers in order to reduce pressure on virgin forests. His activities have helped conserve soils, control desertification, reduce deforestation and helped protect fauna and flora.
Evergreen Club of Ghana
Evergreen Club of Ghana (ECOG) was founded in 1987 as a voluntary children's club with the aim of beautifying school compounds. Today, ECOG is a national non-governmental organization working with youth groups and children and with a grand mission to include adults in a unique partnership for environmental protection.
Through classroom presentations, interactive demonstrations and practical exercises, ECOG encourages the young to learn about the importance of conservation and the role they can play.
ECOG has members in all regions in the country and works with a number of government institutions, local NGOs and international organizations. ECOG was involved in the preparation of Ghana's environmental plan of action (1991 and 1994), and organized the first National Youth and Children's Forum on Environment for the Earth Summit (1992). In the same year, it produced and launched the first recording album on the environment.
Every year since 1992, it has undertaken national environmental awareness campaigns and since 1994, it has involved a number of young people in forestry projects. In 1997 and 2000, it organized the first and second national conference on forest management for youth. In 1993, 1994 and 1995, members of ECOG participated in international leadership programmes for youth and children in Geneva and the United States of America, and in 1997, they participated in the Africa Regional Meeting of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development in Cameroon. In 2000, ECOG was a participant in the Youth Forum at the International Conference on Climate Change in The Hague.
The organization also publishes Evergreen News a newsletter on environment and sustainable development. ECOG was the winner of the National Forestry Week competition in 1996.