The government has begun the implementation of some initiatives to ensure a reduction of emissions in the cocoa and the shea sectors to improve livelihood opportunities for farmers, women groups and forest users in the country.
They are the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP) and the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reduction Project (GSLERP), which are in line with the REDD+ strategy.
The strategy is a UN mechanism demonstrating countries' effort to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, made this known at an event dubbed: “Beyond the talk – Showcasing Ghana’s forest sector climate solutions”, at the ongoing climate change conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.
The event was held at the Ghana Pavilion in Glasgow.
Mr Jinapor said his outfit was sourcing funding for the implementation of the entire programme in Ghana’s 20-year REDD+ strategy and other key national initiatives on afforestation and reforestation.
He said the country was pursuing an aggressive afforestation programme, and that earlier this year, the government launched a Greening programme, which included the declaration of June 11, each year as Green Ghana Day.
That, the minister said, was in line with actions the country was taking to meet its target under the Bonn Challenge and the Africa Forest Landscape Restoration initiative (AFR 100).
“Ghana is also fully committed 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, on the one hand, and 36 cocoa and chocolate producing companies, on the other, to halt deforestation and forest degradation due to cocoa production.
“We are also implementing a forest investment programme (FIP) to address concerns about drivers of deforestation and forest degradation to enhance carbon stocks and also improve on the livelihoods of rural communities,” he added.
Mr Jinapor also said Ghana recently launched a national alternative employment and livelihood programme (NAELP) to create jobs for artisanal miners and also safeguard the forest landscape from further degradation through mining activities.
“The forest sector offers us fast, reliable and empirical evidence-based actions to mitigate the effect of climate change. We must, therefore, make concerted efforts to safeguard our forests.
It is my hope that today’s event will result in a renewed sense of commitment to protect our forests through real and measurable actions,” he added.
According to the minister, the world’s climate was changing at an alarming rate through the actions and inaction of people.
“Since the first COP in Berlin in 1995, we have made commitments and resolutions in successive COPs in our bid to reverse the negative consequences of climate change.
Unfortunately, we have not been successful at it.
“The world keeps getting warmer, rain patterns are changing, ice in the Antarctic and glaciers are melting and sea temperatures are rising.
In Ghana, our savannah ecological zone is getting drier and more humid as our primary tropical and sub-tropical forests are being depleted,” he said.