Our Strategic Goals

NCRC has entered its 3rd decade of work. The organization has grown rapidly over its first two decades to its current position as a leading conservation organization in Ghana and an important environmental group engaging across Africa. As a result of its 1st decade of activities, the Centre was recognized by the Government of Ghana and international partners as a key actor in the development of rural ecotourism and community protected areas in Ghana. NCRC’s community tourism model was articulated in the national policy as the Government’s preferred approach to the development of rural tourism and has been acknowledged globally as a successful rural tourism initiative. The Centre’s work in rural ecotourism has also been instrumental in the establishment of the first private sector luxury safari lodge company in West Africa – Zaina Lodge.

NCRC’s pioneered the thinking behind community protected areas in Ghana - conceptualizing the Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) mechanism and the 1st implementation of areas to be considered under the CREMA model. The CREMA model has been recognized in national policy and in new legislation by the Government of Ghana, and CREMA is increasingly being cited as one of the main alternatives to conventional protected areas strategies driven by state actors.

During NCRC’s 2nd decade, the development of payment for ecosystem services (PES) initiatives has become a key aspect of our work. As a climate change mitigation initiative aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, NCRC was one of the first African NGOs to aggressively adopt a REDD+ work stream and has grown to become the leading organization on the continent with technical expertise on emissions reductions. NCRC has also spearheaded the development of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) initiatives that bridge major commodities, like cocoa and coffee. To date, NCRC can cite major contributions to REDD+ and CSA across 9 African countries.

Research is also at the forefront of NCRC’s work to explore the role and dynamics of ecosystem services in forest and tree crop landscapes with partners like Oxford University. With its long history of engagement, NCRC has the unique ability to both inform how research is designed, in order to maximize its relevance, and to share findings with key decision makers at local and national levels to ensure that there is a real transfer of knowledge into action.

Strategic Highlights

NCRC has three strategic goals for the period (2015-2020) as follows:


Climate Change

Support Ghana’s National REDD+ Secretariat in the design and implementation processes of the Emission Reductions Program for the Cocoa Forest Mosaic Landscape;
Catalyze innovative solutions to sustainable financing of emissions reductions in cocoa farming landscapes through validation of climate smart cocoa landscapes and sustainable harvesting of NTFPs;
Continue to provide technical support and guidance to Ghana’s IWS process focused on major watersheds in the southwest cocoa growing areas;
Transmit lessons from Ghana’s emissions reductions experience into new processes elsewhere;
Continue to partner global research efforts on integrated ecosystem studies and targeted research to generate data and insights on the social ecology of natural resource management thus influencing decision making at national and international levels.


Community Development

Support implementation of USAID-funded Agriculture and Natural Resources Project (AgNRM) to expand CREMA model to 8 key landscapes in the critical river valleys of northern Ghana;

Support the implementation of adapted CREMA into the cocoa farming landscapes of southwestern Ghana as part of the Cocoa Sector Emissions Reduction Program.



Support technical input to lodge design, design of tourist experiences, and related park management issues together with Zaina Ghana and other private operators;
Guide and facilitate constructive relationships between private sector and communities in areas of ecotourism investments;
Facilitate start-up planning and operations of Zaina Conservation Trust;
Catalyze appropriate conservation initiatives around targeted concession areas focused on water development, improved wildlife fodder and species re-introductions.

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