WWF West Africa Forest Programme Office Transitions into Nature and Development Foundation
Over the last few years WWF has been assessing its presence in Ghana and deciding on the nature and scope of its future activities in Ghana. This assessment led to a realization that, to enable increased impact and a farther-reaching strategy, it would be more essential for WWF to collaborate with a local NGO, with a Cooperation Agreement with WWF, to carry out conservation and related activities in the sub-region, rather than maintain a WWF presence in Ghana.
As a result, WWF International has supported the efforts of WWF Ghana team to establish a new local NGO, Nature and Development Foundation (NDF), whose mission- building a society in which human development and nature conservation complement each other is aligned to that of WWF.
With a vision to bring a halt to further degradation of the forest resources and loss of biodiversity across West Africa, NDF believes that ways exist to balance the needs of development with sustainable land uses that do not threaten forest biodiversity or which need not threaten the forest resources and forest-dependent livelihoods of the region.
Asked for his thoughts on the process, Mustapha Seidu, the Head of NDF said: “we the staff of WWF in Ghana who have transitioned into Nature and Development Foundation (NDF) consider the transition as the best decision for our work for the forest and people of West Africa moving forward, as it permits us to engage appropriate partners both within and outside WWF on a much broader scope, a shift from the limited scope within which we operated in the last five years or so”.
NDF will continue the legacy of WWF WAFPO by working on strengthening the forest sector’s capacity in West Africa on responsible forest management. WWF and NDF have in the meantime signed a Cooperation Agreement for a period of three years to allow NDF and WWF to continue collaborating in specific areas that benefit both organizations. All active projects run by WWF WAFPO have been transferred to or subcontracting to NDF. A new strategy document covering the following themes has been developed for NDF:
• Improving the environmental performance of the forest products sector in West Africa
• Building capacity of communities on the forest fringe
• Forming partnerships across West Africa to promote responsible forest management
• Influencing the developing Plantation and Wood Fuel sectors
• Engaging on REDD+
• Promoting wildlife education
• Advising on land use planning at all levels
The full strategy document is available upon request; a summarized version is available for download.