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FOREST WATCH GHANA. BUILDING FORESTRY RIGHTS CAMPAIGNS. Who are we? . 38 national organisations leading in development rights work Rural livelihoods support (CARE, FON) Scientific research (TROPENBOS) Environmental activism (FOE, GEO, GWS) Socio-economic rights (CR)

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forest watch ghana



who are we
Who arewe?
  • 38 national organisations leading in development rights work
    • Rural livelihoods support (CARE, FON)
    • Scientific research (TROPENBOS)
    • Environmental activism (FOE, GEO, GWS)
    • Socio-economic rights (CR)
    • Governance (corruption) (GII)
    • Socio-cultural rights (CIKOD)
    • Gender rights (NETRIGHT)
    • International economic justice (TWN-A)
    • Media & information rights (FEJ)
    • Public interest law (CEPIL)
  • Increasingly strong links to 100s of CBOs in forest fringe communities in Ghana
  • Increasing participation in international rights based CS forest governance movement

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

rights consciousness and fwg
Rights consciousness and FWG

Rights approach to forestry:

  • united peculiar concerns (e.g. conservation v livelihoods or socio-cultural v. socio-economic)
  • connected different levels of problem (local, national, international)
  • clarified values that guide campaign & minimise typical coalition maintenance problems (participation, inclusion, obligation, accountability, holism, Internationalism)
  • provided collective vehicle for politics of elite engagement (political, traditional, religious etc)

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

what do we want
What do we want?
  • Biodiversity for development
  • Fair access to forest resources - reverse corporate “monopoly” trend.
  • Fair distribution of forest rents – respect constitution.
  • participatory forest governance
  • More CSO engagement around forest rights’ issues

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

strategies bottom up
Strategies - Bottom up

Long term support for self-directed bottom - up advocacy

  • Facilitating marginalised stakeholder networks
  • Facilitating public space for marginalised advocacy Community level Networks of marginalised
    • District Forest Forums
    • Regional Forest Forums
    • National Forest Forums

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

strategies legitimacy
Strategies - Legitimacy

Legitimate (i.e. accountable, evidence-based) national CS policy advocacy

  • lobbying and official engagement through coalition structures (MC, TLs & secretariat)
    • FC, MLFM, Parliament, NHC, ENRM (donor reps), courts, CHRAJ
  • (Weak) media work (name and shame)

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

strategies networking
Strategies – networking
  • Forestry is a particular instance of a wider problem of rights deprivation. Logical therefore to
    • Participate in other CS NR networks in Ghana e.g.
      • NCOM
      • Water Rights
    • Participate in international CS resource rights campaigns e.g.
      • AIMES
      • ECFP

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

strategies duty bearers
Strategies – duty bearers
  • Define “Duty Bearer” broadly as anyone who holds any form of social power at community, district, national and global level in relation to our issues
  • includes development “professionals” and agencies (activists and NGOs)!
  • Includes donors and international big business

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

strategies accountability
Strategies - accountability

Built regular consultation and participation into structures to avoid hi-jacking perception

  • GM meets 3x yearly – reviews and directs
  • MC meets monthly
  • “Team Leader” structure ensures “external” oversight of policy campaigns
  • Coordinator not Executive Director
  • All positions subject to annual election

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

strategies eu campaign
Strategies - EU campaign.
  • Forest crisis driven by corporate timber industry
  • EU buys 60% of Ghana timber exports (2% of EU need)
  • EU gives best (still subsidised!) prices
  • EU important trade partner in other respects
  • EU and MS (e.g. UK, Denmark) influential donors
  • EU policy (FLEGT / VPA) largely progressive
  • Active EU rights based CS campaign (FERN, Greenpeace, GW, EIA etc.)

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

flegt vpa
  • EU FLEGT responds to recognition that EU market for illegal logs drives environmental, governance (money laundering) and indigenous peoples rights’:
    • MS weed illegal timber out of public procurement (>20% of EU market)
    • encourage EU industry to adopt higher standards
    • contract with willing producer countries to allow MS customs to embargo timber not certified as “legal” in accordance with agreed processes.
  • Ghana one of first round of VPA negotiations

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

process so far
  • Work to understand EU policy, processes & opportunities
  • Linked with campaigning EU NGOs
  • Linked with o’r “producer country” NGOs (Cameroon, DRC, Liberia, Brazil, Indonesia, PNG)
  • Developed collective platform on FLEGT / VPAs
  • Lobbying EU to be accountable and to increase “development” as opposed to “trade” content of VPAs & to commit publicly to “participation” and “inclusion” & accountability as part of VPA preparations.
  • Gone “home” to work on VPA preparation processes

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

achievements i
Achievements (i)
  • Old Industry-state consensus disrupted

– court cases & even contempt citation

    • MLFM interventions to repair relations (e.g. ENAK TOR)
  • Internal Industry consensus disrupted
    • GTA publicly blames GTMO for sector crisis
    • GTMO quietly advocates elimination of “logging contractors”
    • Nascent schism within GTMO (FLEGT related?)
  • State consensus disrupted
    • MLFM / FC clearly at odds over stumpage – FC vindicated?
    • MLFM, AuG, MFEP v FC (mgt & BOD),AG & BOG clash over 3% export levy (MLFM efforts to paper over cracks)
    • Appointment processes stalemated
    • Evidence that FOSSA & GIPF ready to intervene

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches

achievements ii
Achievements (ii)
  • “SMART” commitments to correct massive wrongs in resource access and benefits sharing.
  • responsiveness of district forestry offices (where DFFs exist)
  • Official request for “tech assist” in participation
  • Acceptance of obligation to account to CS
  • “Community” ownership of campaigns
  • domestic and global awareness of forestry / development crisis
  • Conscious more radical CS – sharper critique of “corporate globalisation”, PRSPs etc. but also better skills in engaging.

Workshop on Rights Based Approaches


Workshop on Rights Based Approaches