Let’s take action to tackle global climate crisis - Lands Minister urges nations
Countries must pay special attention to forest and nature-based climate actions to help tackle the global crisis, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said.
He said forest countries in particular must protect the natural integrity of their landscape by taking bold steps to halt degradation.
Mr Jinapor, who is a Co-chair of the Forest Climate Leaders Partnership (FCLP), added that addressing deforestation was crucial to climate action because forests, including other nature-based climate actions, could deliver up to a third of climate solutions.
"That is why the Green Ghana project was instituted three years ago to help restore degraded lands so that the trees we plant can sequestrate the carbon we emit into the atmosphere," he said.
The minister said this in an interview with the Daily Graphic on Monday ahead of the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP28) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 30 to December 12, 2023.
Nature-based solutions to climate change are a collection of approaches that offer the potential to reduce and remove emissions to enhance the ability of the ecosystems to reverse the degradation of an ecosystem such that it no longer emits harmful greenhouse gas emissions and becomes a ‘net sink’ of carbon.
It also includes avoiding emissions through protecting landscapes to limit deforestation; improving degraded habitats by bringing ecological diversity into landscapes dominated by singular species; improving management practices of farmed land such that emissions are reduced, and carbon sequestration is maximised and allowing water bodies to meander along their natural courses to reduce flood risk, among others.
Mr Jinapor said that at COP28, the country's focus would be to advocate increased investment in forest and other nature-based climate actions.
He explained that as part of the knowledge-sharing process, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would be joined by other heads of state to discuss in-country frameworks and methodologies for monitoring the progress of nature-based solutions.
Also, the minister said forest, environment and climate change sector ministers would explore innovative approaches for mobilisation of climate finance for forest countries, as well as enhance public-private partnerships to implement sustainable nature and forest solutions.
On the work of the FCLP which was inaugurated at COP27 in Sham El-Sheikh in Egypt, he said the partnership was making efforts to deliver on its mandate of mobilising action to achieve the target of the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forest and Land Use.
The Glasgow Declaration seeks to "halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive transformation".
Mr Jinapor said a year after take-off, the FCLP had prioritised six initiatives to be launched at COP28 in support of the Glasgow Leaders Declaration.
He said the first initiative was the country packages for forest, nature and climate.
"These are integrated system-wide programmes designed for forest landscape restoration with blended finance from philanthropy, sovereign nations and private sector," he said.
The minister said there was another work programme on strengthening forest carbon markets, for which a roadmap would be launched at COP28 towards enhancing integrity in carbon markets and working on a foundation for fair and right prices to be paid to forest countries.
Mr Jinapor said the third initiative was sustainable wood for construction, which sought to reward the sustainable use of wood and wood products in construction.