USAID Coastal Sustainable Landscape Project (CSLP)

USAID Coastal Sustainable Landscape Project (CSLP)


Ghana’s Western Region is one of the fastest growing areas in all of West Africa. Land use pressures are enormous, especially in the high population centers of the region’s six coastal districts. Demand for conversion of forests to agriculture, cash crop development, harvesting of mangroves and other forest species for charcoal and timber production, artisanal mining, and urban development pose significant threats to forests in this region.  High unemployment rates compound these pressures, exacerbating unsustainable natural resource management practices and reducing ecosystem services provided by the region’s forests.

Project Summary and Goals

The Coastal Sustainable Landscapes Project (CSLP) is a USAID-funded and US Forest Service managed intervention being implemented in the six coastal districts of Ghana’s Western Region. The project, originally planned for three years, through fiscal year 2016, was extended to September 2018 through the Feed the Future initiative, based on the successes in its first three years.

The project, implemented in collaboration with Government of Ghana institutions, particularly the Forestry Commission and Ministry of Food and Agriculture, aims to contribute to Ghana’s movement into low greenhouse gas emissions, high carbon sequestration development pathway in the land use sector. It is embedded within a broader, multi-partner food security, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and environmental governance effort within the coastal forest landscapes along the western coast of Ghana. CSLP’s primary activities are focused on community level interactions that work to improve and diversify local, on-farm livelihoods. One key component of the CSLP strategy uses Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) as platforms to help maintain and increase forest cover with native and existing tree species, to develop adaptation strategies in the face of climate change, and to improve small business skills for farmers. To date, activities of the CSLP have touched 75 communities, mainly in areas where there is an existing and functioning community governance body such as Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs), Community Conservation Committees, or similar entities.

The project seeks to reduce poverty and increase resiliency in the target communities through improved natural resource management, livelihood diversification, value chain development, and ecosystem restoration. The CSLP focuses on two main outcomes:

  • Increased incomes from livelihood diversification
  • Improved environment and natural resource management

Project Duration

2013 -2018; (1st Phase ended Sept. 2016)

Sub Sectors

  • Agroforestry and forestry practices 
  • Beekeeping
  • On-farm tree planting and Urban greeneries / urban forestry
  • Wetland conservation, management and monitoring
  • Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs)
  • Climate Smart / Conservation Agriculture
  • Spatial planning
  • Climate change awareness creation

Implementing Partner

US Forest Service

Collaborations/Partnership project has entered into:


Area of collaboration/partnership

Forestry Commission (FC)-Forest Services Division (FSD) and COCOBOD

On–farm tree planting of commercial and agroforestry species.

Agroforestry and forestry practices

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)

Ministry of Food and Agricuture (MoFA)

Short and medium term livelihood improvement and increased food security activities (e.g. beekeeping expansion, increased vegetable production using climate smart/conservation agriculture technologies and woodlots for charcoal production, agric supply chain linkages)

FC-Wildlife Division (WD) 

Community management and monitoring of coastal zone and wetland areas (restore/replant degraded mangrove sites, working with community based natural resource management groups, e.g. CREMAs)

National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI)

Business Advisory Centers (BAC)

Establishment of Village Savings and Loan Associations-VSLAs and enterprise groups for organic vegetable production (to help diversify local livelihood activities) and input/output supply chain linkages

District assemblies


Spatial planning (related to landscape vegetation types, characterization and delineation of sensitive / degraded habitats within project areas and carbon stocks quantification within project sites), GIS training and mapping

Town and Country Planning Units (TCPD)

Management of greening areas as designated in spatial plans
Ghana Education Service (GES) Working with school groups, youth and women to promote climate change awareness
GES, FC, Traditional Authorities

Establishment of trees in open areas and schools to promote urban greeneries; wetland resource awareness and monitoring


The CSLP uses in-field consultations, targeted trainings, strategic capacity building, detailed technical assistance, and participation in institutional/policy level discussions and workshops based on field level experience to achieve project objectives.

Geographical Coverage

Western Region, districts are:  

  • Shama
  • Sekondi-Takoradi
  • Ahanta West
  • Nzema East
  • Ellembelle
  • Jomoro


US$ 6,800,000.00


  • Reduced the quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 11,000, 000 metric tons of CO2e
  • 3,500+ hectares under improved Natural Resource Management (NRM)
  • Restored 1,500+ hectares of degraded wetland areas through replanting and improved management processes
  • 24 Wetland Conservation Committees formed to champion the co-management of wetlands and mangroves
  • 2000+ small holders farmers engaged in agroforestry, conservation and climate smart agriculture, and other diversified livelihoods
  • Avoided possible deforestation in over 300 hectares
  • 48 VSLAs established with 1,229 members (68% women). 41 Village Agents trained & coached to monitor activities of VSLAs
  • Over 200 farmers empowered as active beekeepers
  • 18 Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Organic Vegetable Production Groups formed
  • 20 school clubs formed (with 1000+ members) in High Schools and promote climate change and other environmental issues. Over 170 teachers support environmental education in schools. CSA gardens established in 11 Junior & Senior High Schools
  • Facilitated urban greeneries in schools and communities
  • Climate change awareness information shared with more than 5,000 individuals in 41 communities
  • 60 farmers with capacity to use GPS to map farms, collect data and monitor project interventions
  • Built the capacity of 30+ government officials in spatial planning and remote sensing.
  • Close to 70,000 trees planted in more than 600 farms
  • Enhanced private sector contribution to climate change mitigation/adaptation activities
  • Capacities of local NRM groups (e.g. CREMA) and five coastal assemblies built to address climate change issues. Wetland awareness, management and monitoring capacity increased in two communities.
  • Partnered with UKaid-funded project to scale up climate change awareness in coastal communities
  • Successfully facilitated the organization of four World Environment Day  celebrations at the local community level

Key Staff Contacts

 Gloria Odoom,
 Project Management Specialist
 Dr. Steve Dennison,
 Project Director
 Adam Welti,
 Program Manager