Anlo is a picturesque beach located in the Shama district of the Western Region in Ghana. Like many other wetlands in the area, the Anlo Beach wetland is threatened by degradation resulting from over-exploitation of mangrove wood for fish smoking, dumping of solid waste and bad fishing practices.

The Conservation of Anlo Beach project, launched by Friends of the Nation and supported by the French Global Environment Facility (AFD/FFEM/PPI) seeks to conserve the wetland and its biodiversity through facilitating the creation of local institutions for conservation, improving wetland management practices, improving livelihoods in fringe communities and deepening stakeholder participation in land use planning at the district level.

The general aim of the project is to contribute to biodiversity conservation and improvement in the living conditions of the populations along the fringes of Anlo Beach wetlands. FoN will support the local population by building capacity to undertake wetland management planning by creating income generating opportunities to unemployed youth. Apart from this, new livelihood activities will be introduced by transferring skills of building energy efficient fish smoking ovens. Other measures will be to facilitate wetland management practices – like re-planting mangroves around the wetlands and avoid cutting mangroves – and formulating land-use policies for protection and conservation of Anlo Beach wetland.

The project area lies within a coastal area where fishing and farming are the major economic activities. It is a biologically diverse system comprising the Pra river estuary, mangrove forests, salt marshes and swamps. It serves as a habitat for approximately 37 fish species comprising 23 marine, 4 brackish water and 9 freshwater fishes including 2 shrimp and 1 crab species.

The project will directly target fish mongers and fish processors, unemployed youth, fishermen, farmers, community leaders and land owners. To ensure effective collaboration between the targeted communities and planning entities on the regional level, also planning officers of Shama District Assembly, officials of Environmental Protection Agency and Wildlife Services Division will be addressed.

In order to protect and preserve the Anlo Beach Wetland, the initiative will support a concerted action. Through the project, at least 8000 fisher folk and farmers will indirectly benefit from sustainable management of the wetland and livelihood opportunities.