The Global Shea Alliance in partnership with the U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development “USAID” launched the 2020 tree planting efforts with the development of a 50-seedling shea nursery. The highly symbolic event is part of the Action for Shea Parklands “ASP” initiative which seeks to address the systemic factors including climate change, lack of fallows, commercial agriculture, and tree removal contributing to the decline in shea trees. Stakeholders across the globe are working collectively to promote and protect parklands while advancing industry’s commitment to plant 10 million trees over the next 10 years across West Africa.
This year’s launch event which held at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, due to the constraints of the COVID- 19 pandemic, convened a multi-stakeholder group of U.S. government representatives, private sector actors, women cooperatives leaders, and subject matter experts. The group led by Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan assembled shea seedlings which will be transported to the Northern region of Ghana for transplanting during the 2021 planting season. This year, stakeholders’ endeavors in Ghana will eventuate in the planting of 20,000 shea trees and the raising of 50,000 seedlings.
“We’re pleased to have the support of the U.S. government in addressing the rapid degradation of shea parklands. The development of nurseries and empowerment of women collectors to maintain them, will advance our goal of repopulating shea parklands while contributing to global efforts to address climate challenges. Through the ASP initiative, we’ll ensure that the livelihoods of millions of African families are protected and future disruptions to industry growth are averted.’’ said Aaron Adu – GSA Managing Director.
In partnership with USAID, the Global Shea Alliance is leading industry’s sustainability effort. To date, 100,000 seedlings have been raised and 8,000 shea trees planted under the USAID funded Sustainable Shea Initiative – An $18 million, five-year program that promotes the sustainable expansion of the shea industry in Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast, Togo, Mali, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso. The partnership matches USAID funds with private sector and development partner funds to provide build the capacity women shea collectors and protect natural resources.