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Insights from the First BIOTRAILS stakeholders’ workshop in Ghana

Hosted by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the first BIOTRAILS stakeholders’ workshop of the Gold Mining case study was took place in Kumasi (Ghana) on November 23rd, 2023.

 

The workshop aimed at bringing together different stakeholders – local institutions, researchers, NGOs, actors involved in the gold value chain and members of the local communities – to discuss the main issues related to the processes and activities related to gold mining in the Kumasi district, and to start drafting intervention strategies for addressing those issues. The workshop was a success: More than 40 stakeholders attended and actively participated in the workshop discussions. Besides the local stakeholders, three BIOTRAILS research partners participated in the meeting, namely CNR-IRSA, adelphi and Harokopio University.

 

The workshop had a threefold role. Firstly, it aimed to create a bridge between the BIOTRAILS project and local stakeholders. Secondly, we wanted to collect valuable knowledge to be used in the BIOTRAILS analyses. Finally, it focused on fostering dialogue among the different stakeholders involved/interested in the different phases/activities related to the Gold Mining value chain. All three goals were successfully achieved!

 

BIOTRAILS was presented and a discussion was initiated about the exploitation of the project’s main results to support transformative change in this case study. Three main participatory activities were organised aiming at gathering stakeholders’ understanding of the Biodiversity-Society-Climate Nexus, their perspectives concerning the main issues to be addressed and the solutions to be implemented. Regarding the first point, it is worth mentioning that the stakeholders showed a deep understanding of the complex interactions among the activities in the value chain, the climate change impacts and the biodiversity losses. The results of this phase are currently being analysed for the development of the Systems Dynamic Modelling.

 

The outcomes of the workshop are being carefully structured and analysed by BIOTRAILS researchers. The findings will soon be shared with stakeholders, paving the way for planning and structuring the second workshop based on the initial results.

 

The workshop facilitated lively discussions, initiating a fruitful exchange of ideas and opinions. This marks the first step in the cross-fertilization and knowledge-exchange process among various sectors involved in the Gold Mining value chain. BIOTRAILS is committed to working closely with institutions, NGOs, and local communities to implement analytical tools and methods, supporting the definition of alternative pathways towards biodiversity-related transformative change in the Gold Mining value chain.