The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, says the government is implementing programmes to sustain the country’s forest covers.
He said programmes including Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) and the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project (GSLRP) would restore depleted forest covers, increase cocoa and shea yields, as well as reduce Green House Gas Emissions in the high forest and savannah zones.
Mr Jinapor said this in a statement read on his behalf by the Technical Director, Forestry, MLNR, Mr Joseph Osiakwan at the 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Institute of Foresters (GIF)held in Accra yesterday on the theme “Ghana’s Response to Climate Change: The GIF perspective.”
He said the two programmes had the capacity to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by some 16,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent to seven years of emissions.
“The GCFRP has recorded its first validated emission reductions at a value of 972,456 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent generating a results-based Carbon payment of US$4,862,280.00,” he added.
Mr Jinapor further said the government also signed a letter of intent with the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition to enter into negotiations for an agreement to provide financing to fight climate change through forest protection and reforestation.
“We are rigorously working to secure a binding Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement to support our forest-based climate actions.
We are also implementing the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI), to halt deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa value chain by preventing farmers from converting forest lands intococoa farms,” he added.
More so, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) said the ministry was implementing the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, under the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union to ensure the sustainable felling of trees.
He used the opportunity to urge Ghanaians to desist from practices that destroyed the environment.
For his part, Mr Isaac Adonteng, Vice President, GIF, urged practicing foresters across the country to register with the GIF for membership status as directed by the Professional Bodies Decree, 1973.
He said that would go a long way to protect the forest covers of the nation and ensure that only qualified foresters practiced.
The Professional Bodies Decree, 1973 (NRCD 143) Section 18 (3) states that “no person shall practice any profession in respect of which a professional body has been registered under this decree unless he has been duly registered by the registrar under this section.”
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR