What We Represent

 Our story

NDF was born out of the long presence of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Ghana and across the West African region. The WWF West Africa Regional Office was based in Abidjan since the mid-70s until the civil war in Côte d’Ivoire forced WWF to relocate its office to Ghana in 2005.

Since 2009 the WWF team in Accra has focused on forest and trade related activities as a part of the WWF International Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) programme. In the past decade the team has built up a set of global expertise and has successfully worked closely with governments, communities and leading companies within and outside the region.

In 2013 WWF decided that a local NGO would be better equipped to work on forest and related conservation issues across the region in the long term, and chose to assist in the development of a new, local NGO. With the support of WWF, the Nature & Development Foundation (NDF) was created. NDF was legally established in November 2013 in Ghana as a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee.

NDF is proud of its WWF heritage and will continue its association with WWF as it develops further. For now, NDF through a cooperation agreement with WWF International will continue to collaborate with the WWF Global Forest Programme on issues which are of interest to both organisations.


The Foundation has a vision that it is possible to bring a halt to further degradation of the forest resources and loss of biodiversity across West Africa. NDF believes that ways exist to balance the needs of development with sustainable land uses that do not threaten forest biodiversity or which need not threaten the forest resources and forest dependent livelihoods of the region.


NDF’s mission is to help build a society in which human development and nature conservation complement each other. NDF believes we can realize our vision, which we believe others share, through the pursuit of the following key approaches:

  • Mobilising key players, such as industry, local communities, consumer markets and governments in relevant countries in West Africa to create the conditions and solutions that can drive sustainable natural resource utilization on the ground.
  • Creating partnerships with key organisations, such as industry and governments in relevant countries in West Africa plus other strategic civil society organizations in policy dialogue and developing market mechanisms to act as stimuli for positive change.
  • Engaging in activities around other land-uses impacting the forest landscape in West Africa, focusing on sustainable forms of land use in appropriate locations.


NDF is currently active in Ghana and we aim to increase our activities in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia in the life time of this strategy. Within the next three years, the focus in these three countries will be to interact with the broader land use sector, ensuring basic legal compliance by industry, encouraging responsible forest management and commodity production in general as well as interaction with other actors who influence the forest landscape. We aim to work with key partners to achieve leadership as an organisation with respect to our work in responsible forest management, natural resources management, rural development and governance in the region.

Currently, NDF has a broad range of skills ranging from forest management and social responsibility, through to high conservation values and the legal framework for forestry.

Future scope & activities

NDF is well placed to engage and partner organisations at all scales to ensure that these competing land uses and decision making processes are conducted in ways that the forest is valued and conserved where feasible. NDF understands that it must not limit itself to working only with those in the forest industries itself, but that it must engage more widely in multiple sectors and processes if it is to achieve its mission.

NDF intends to focus on activities in the following thematic areas in the next three years. These focal areas are based on analysis of the key trends in the West African forest and other terrestrial sectors and our own ability, today and tomorrow to working on them to realize our mission.

The NDF intends to build on engaging forest sector actors in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Ghana and focus its response to the challenge in a number of specific areas.

Our Strategies

A new strategy document covering the following themes has been developed for NDF:

• Improving the environmental performance of the forest products sector in West Africa
• Building capacity of communities on the forest fringe
• Forming partnerships across West Africa to promote responsible forest management
• Influencing the developing Plantation and Wood Fuel sectors
• Engaging on REDD+
• Promoting wildlife education
• Advising on land use planning at all levels