Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) 

Consortium Partners

Consortium Partners: Rainforest alliance, World Vision Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana and EcoCare Ghana

Key Stakeholders

Local communities and smallholder farmer beneficiaries, municipal and district assemblies, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Forestry Commission (REDD+ Secretariat, Wildlife Division, Forest Services Division), the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), and major private sector companies committed to deforestation-free supply chains, including logging companies and Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) sourcing cocoa, shea, and timber from local landscapes.

Key thematic areas

The EU Action Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN), works closely with the EU Delegation, private companies, local communities and core national partners, to catalyse systemic changes across three biodiverse and economically important landscapes. It aims to help translate sustainability commitments into workable solutions on the ground, with the ultimate objective of conserving biodiversity, improving livelihoods, increasing climate change resilience, and reducing emissions from land use changes in these landscapes.


First, while they may be interested in conserving natural capital and improving livelihoods, most stakeholders lack the capacity and knowledge to act within their direct sphere of influence or economic interest. Second, while there is growing recognition of the importance of working at a landscape level to address sustainability, there is a lack of the tools, resources and incentives needed to drive action at scale. Lastly, to date Ghana doesn’t have an example of sustainable or self-sustaining landscape governance models to scale up.


To directly contribute to the national efforts of conserving biodiversity, improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers, increasing climate change resilience and reducing emissions from land use changes in the savannah, high forest and transition zones of Ghana.


The High Forest Zone Landscape, comprised of the Bodi-Akontomra area, the Western Zone B Hotspot Intervention Area, and the Sui River Area. This prioritized area of high conservation value has high rates of deforestation and forest degradation above 3% annually, with around 70% of the landscape in a cocoa-growing area: a major cause of deforestation, biodiversity loss and negative ecosystem impacts that are likely to result in declining productivity and yields. The Forest-Savannah Transition Landscape has low agricultural productivity due to deforestation, perennial wildfires exacerbated by extreme climate variability, and uncontrolled grazing. Over 60% of the population in this landscape are farmers involved in agriculture and forestry. The Guinea and Sudan Savannah Ecological Zones Landscape is located in the northern part of the country and includes high-value shea and baobab, acacia, and ebony, and is occupied by the largest national park in Ghana, Mole National Park, and Kenikeni Forest Reserve, which are threatened by agriculture, drainage problems, and high runoff and erosion.


Local community-based capacities will be developed in the three priority landscapes through tailored technical assistance to reduce land degradation, prevent forest loss, and increase productivity, climate change resilience and natural resource conservation. Training and mentoring of smallholder farmers will be provided in sustainable natural resource regeneration and management techniques. Training and extension services and private sector engagement will strengthen capacities of smallholder farmers to access improved markets and establish alternative income diversification enterprises.

Specific actions

The private sector will be engaged in incentives schemes, certification, and implementation of supply chain deforestation-free commitments. LandScale, a monitoring, evaluation and learning system, will be used to capture data and share knowledge among the three selected landscapes. Smallholder farmers will be provided with extension support in sustainable land management practices and efficient farm models to mitigate climate change through reforestation and land degradation reduction, and to improve food security through increased yields and improved practice.

Project impact

The implementation of the EU LEAN project in these diverse landscapes will enable cross-learning and build the business case for Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) models across various commodity sectors, as well as mobilize political and partners’ support to inform decision making and advance sub-programmes of the Ghana REDD+ strategy.


Abena Dufie Woode
Consortium Lead / Senior Project Manager
EU LEAN Project
Mobile: +233 (0) 208099775
Skype: Abena Woode

Rainforest Alliance
36 Abortsi Street, East Legon
PMB CT 435, Cantonments, Accra
+233 (0) 207 50 2210

Tropenbos Ghana
CSIR-FORIG, Fumesua, (Kumasi)
P.O.BOX UP 982, KNUST, Kumasi
+233 50 577 7997

EcoCare Ghana
No. 44 Ecowas Road,
Agbogba – North Legon
PMB LG84, Legon Campus, Accra
+233 30 255 5044

World Vision Ghana
No.3 Kortei Robertson Street
North Industrial Area
Kaneshie, Accra
Ghana, West Africa
Private Mail Bag, Accra-North
+233-302-23 26 03-4