Samuel Jinapor addressing the conference
Samuel Jinapor addressing the conference

Increase forest finance to save planet — Abu Jinapor

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has called on world leaders to increase financing for forest action to tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

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At the 19th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF19) at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, the minister said the capacity of forests in combating the triple planetary crises called for an urgent need to re-examine forest financing options to stimulate investment efforts towards achieving the globally agreed goals on forests, climate change and biodiversity.

The United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) is a functional commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) established in 2000 to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment towards this goal. 

Forum

Made up of all UN member states, the forum meets annually to assess progress of work, adopt decisions and make commitments towards achieving the goal of the forum. 

The 19th session of the forum, which began on May 6, 2024, is also undertaking a mid-term review of the implementation of the International Arrangements on forests. 

Last Thursday, the forum held its High-Level Ministerial Segment and forest partnership dialogue on the theme: “Forest-based solutions to the triple planetary crises: A focus on people, science and technology.”

Addressing the forum, Mr Jinapor, who is also the Member of Parliament for Damongo, decried the continuous destruction of global forests, despite the increasing global knowledge and understanding of environmental challenges and the potential of forests to contribute to tackling these challenges. According to the World Resources Institute, tropical primary forest loss in 2023 alone totalled three point seven million hectares (3.7 million ha), and accounted for two point four gigatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (2.4GtCO2e). 

It is estimated that $393 billion is required annually to save the world’s forests. 

Reference

Referring to the statistics, Mr Jinapor said global leaders needed to take urgent, concerted and collaborative action to save the world’s forests, the planet and the lives and livelihoods of 1.6 billion people who depended on forest resources for survival. 

He said Ghana, under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo, had taken several initiatives aimed at forest protection and conservation, including the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy, the Green Ghana Project and the Ghana REDD+ Strategy.

Mr Jinapor said developing countries which hosted about 45 per cent of global forests, faced enormous challenges in protection and conservation, particularly financial challenges. 

He said Ghana had to expend her limited resources on sustainable forest management due to the importance government attached to the country’s forests. 

The minister bemoaned the continuous default by developed countries to honour their pledges to support developing countries in sustainable forest management. 

This lack of commitment, he noted, was also manifested in the inconsistency in carbon pricing. 

“Why should the price of carbon in Europe, for example, be different from Africa, or in the Americas be different from Asia,” Mr Jinapor quizzed.

He also called for a comprehensive programme for incentivising local communities that depended on forests to preserve those resources.

The forum, which ends today, will adopt a declaration and a number of resolutions aimed at promoting sustainable forest management.

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