Panel 4 Paper 4.2: Resiliency of rural socio-ecological landscapes: Case study of the Black Volta and Weto Landscapes of Ghana

Orstin, Georges (2019) Panel 4 Paper 4.2: Resiliency of rural socio-ecological landscapes: Case study of the Black Volta and Weto Landscapes of Ghana. In: ICOMOS 2019 Advisory Committee Scientific Symposium - Rural Heritage - Landscapes and Beyond, 17 October 2019, Marrakesh, Morocco. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

In response to Ghana’s obligations under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Global Environmental Fund Small Grants Program (SGP) adopted a resilience approach to sustainability, focusing on how to build local capacity to deal with unexpected landscape change. This paper will: (1) share experience from Ghana in restoring landscapes for resilient livelihoods, (2) present methodologies on how rural landscapes can be managed to ensure a sustainable and resilient supply of essential ecosystem services, and (3) discuss the challenges that are associated with these approaches. The paper will also discuss how Ghana’s Weto and Black Volta socio-ecological production landscapes enhanced food security as a strategy, how good practices for restoring and enhancing the landscape have been demonstrated, and how cultural revival and revitalization of traditions has helped shape the landscape. Recognizing the role that local people play as external drivers of ecosystem dynamics, this approach explored ways that rural communities can interact sustainably with ecosystems while maintaining their spiritual, cultural and economic connections to the landscapes they inhabit. Using seven principles of resilience, SGP and its partners undertook a wide range of project interventions in over one-hundred rural communities aimed at creating resilience practices to strengthen the well-being of these communities and support key ecosystem functions and biodiversity conservation within a 250,000 ha landscape. The interventions had many different aims, among them to: maintain, revitalize and rebuild socio-ecological production landscapes promote food security, encourage learning systems, promote broader participation and adoption, and promote polycentric governance systems. The case study also identifies paradigm shifts in landscape management based on building a community’s capacity to ensure resilience while harnessing ecosystem services through innovation, adaptation, and governance.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Orstin, Georges
Languages: English
Keywords: Cultural Landscapes; Rural Heritage; Rural landscapes; social and economic aspects; culture nature integration; International organizations; UN Sustainable Development Goals; United Nations; Climate change; sustainable developement; local communitites; resilience; restoration of cultural landscapes; ecosystems; conseravation of biodiversity; project report; case studies; Ghana
Subjects: Q. LANDSCAPES > 06. Agricultural Landscapes
G.DETERIORATION > 03. Climate change
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 02. Agricultural heritage
J.HERITAGE ECONOMICS > 05. Heritage and sustainable development
K.LEGAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES > 05. International organizations
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 06. Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
Name of monument, town, site, museum: United Nations
National Committee: ICOMOS International
International Scientific Committee: Cultural Landscapes (ICOMOS-IFLA)
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2019 Advisory Committee Scientific Symposium
Depositing User: ICOMOS DocCentre
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2019 16:23
Last Modified: 22 May 2023 15:48
References: Brown, Jessica and Terence Hay-Edie (2014) Engaging Local Communities in Stewardship of World Heritage: A methodology based on the COMPACT experience, World Heritage Papers 40. Paris: UNESCO.

Brown, Jessica, Nora Mitchell, and Michael Beresford (eds) (2005) The Protected Landscape Approach: Linking Nature, Culture and Community. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, World Commission on Protected Areas.

Ortsin, George (2015) ‘Ecological and Socio-Cultural Resilience in Managing Traditional Sacred Landscapes in the Coastal Savannah Ecosystem of Ghana,’ in Ken Taylor, Archer St Clair and Nora J. Mitchell (eds) Conserving Cultural Landscapes: Challenges and New Directions, London and New York: Routledge, 2015, pp. 129-143.

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