Govt Receives $1.3m To Fight Degradation

Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh

GOVERNMENT HAS received an advance payment of US$1.3 million out of a US$50 million agreement with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility for results-based payments for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (known as REDD+).

The provision of this advance payment was included in the programme contract, which was signed last year.

The funds will be used for the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP), focused on cocoa forest mosaic landscapes in seven regions within the high forest zone. This emission reductions programme is anchored in the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

As part of the programme’s agreed plan, the advance payment will be received by the Forestry Commission, which houses the National REDD+ Secretariat, and will fund activities such as livelihood support, trainings, reforestation and enrichment planting in the programme areas, multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral engagement, and essential program coordination costs.

The financing is especially timely, given the current Covid-19 situation, for Ghana to maintain momentum with this initiative and to ‘build back greener.’

“This programme is an important vehicle for the effective and successful implementation of both government and private sector commitments under the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, which together feed into the overall forest sector contributions for Ghana’s international climate targets. This advance payment is vital to catalyze the programme’s implementation efforts,” said Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.

“This emission reductions programme is a unique public-private partnership between cocoa companies, traditional authorities, farmers, community members, the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Forestry Commission among others. It represents a pilot model for sustainable sourcing of cocoa in rapidly growing economies, while reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and creating alternative and additional livelihoods. The Forestry Commission is therefore rallying the support of all stakeholders and beneficiaries to achieve successful implementation,” said John M. Allotey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission.

The programme area, which spans nearly six million hectares, is home to 12 million people and includes 1.2 million hectares of forest reserves and national parks.

“The GCFRP positions Ghana to be among the first countries globally to demonstrate how improved governance, inclusive participation, collaborative forest resources management and sound agro-forestry practices in a commodity-driven landscape can work together to deliver real, verifiable and ambitious climate action while building ecosystem and livelihood resilience,” said Roselyn Fosuah Adjei, Director for Climate Change and REDD+ National Focal Point at the Forestry Commission.

According to Agata Pawlowska, World Bank’s Operations Manager in Ghana, “We are confident that Ghana will continue to liaise with stakeholders and the private sector in this unique programme which will support more sustainable cocoa production, increase incomes for cocoa farmers and climate co-benefits through minimizing its deforestation and forest degradation footprint.”

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