COP 26: Minister touts achievements on Green Ghana Programme

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Jinapor, has touted interventions Ghana is implementing in the forest sector to contribute to the global target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Including Green Ghana Programme, under which the government planted seven million trees this year, and with a target to add 20 million more next year, he said they were real and verifiable emission reduction initiatives in the country’s forest sector.

He was addressing various stakeholders at an event held at the Ghana Pavilion, at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), on Wednesday at Glasgow, Scotland.

It was on the theme: “Beyond the Talk, Showcasing Ghana’s Forest Sector Climate Solutions,” and afforded institutions including Forestry Commission, Ghana Cocoa Board, Proforest, Tropenbos, Ghana World Bank, Global Shea Alliance and the UK COP26 Regional Embassy, and the Environmental Protection Agency an opportunity to discuss Ghana’s forest sector solutions.

Mr Jinapor said, aside from the green Ghana tress, 28 million were planted under the forty-year Forest Plantation Strategy while the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) was being implemented to address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the high forest and transitional zones.

He also mentioned the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP)that aims to create alternative jobs for artisanal miners and to safeguard the forest landscape from further degradation through mining activities.

According to Mr Jinapor, in line with the Paris Agreement’s Article 5 REDD+ mechanism, Ghana’s REDD+ Strategy, he said the country was implementing two programmes, namely the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) and the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project (GSLERP).

 This he said would ensure emission reductions in Ghana’s major commodity supply chains (cocoa in the South and shea in the North), to secure both carbon and non-carbon benefits, and improve livelihood opportunities for farmers, women groups and forest users in general. 

He said the Forestry Commission, under the auspices of the Ministry, was pursuing financing opportunities for the active implementation of the remaining programmes in Ghana’s twenty-year REDD+ Strategy and other key national programmes on Afforestation and Reforestation.

Mr Jinapor also mentioned the Letter of Intent (LOI) Ghana had signed with Emergent, a US non-profit organisation, under the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition to access part of $1billion, mobilised by the coalition for countries that desire to fight deforestation.

Ghana, he said, was implementing an ambitious Afforestation and Reforestation programme in the long-term, in response to targets under the Bonn Challenge and Africa Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR 100).

He expressed the country’s commitment to the Joint Framework of Action (JFA), signed between the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s two largest producers of cocoa, and 36 Cocoa and Chocolate producing companies to halt deforestation and forest degradation due to cocoa production.

Noting that the world was not doing enough beyond the talks, commitments and resolutions, he said “We must demonstrate real and measurable actions for the 1.5 degrees Celsius target. This is the only way to guarantee a sustainable future for our planet and for the lives of generations unborn.”

FROM JONATHAN DONKOR, GLASGOW (SCOTLAND)

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