World Bank rewards nation for emission reduction
The World Bank has supported the country with over $4.8m for reducing deforestation and forest degradation emissions, commonly known as REDD+.
The World Bank Trust Fund paid the money as a reward for the effort of the country in reducing 972,456 tonnes of carbon emissions under the first monitoring period of the programme which runs from June to December 2019.
Ghana, thus, becomes the second African country after Mozambique to receive the money from the global fund.
The payment is under the multilateral lender’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society and indigenous peoples’ organisations focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
It is also focused on forest carbon stock conservation, sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, said the money hit the dedicated account last Tuesday.
He said independent validation and verification processes were also ongoing for the payment of the second tranche, covering the monitoring period January 2020 to December, 2021.
The minister said 69 per cent of the money would be allocated to local communities since they represented the key actors in generating emission reductions, while the remaining 31 per cent would be shared among related stakeholders.
According to him, the feat attained by the country was a positive sign that measures rolled out by the government to tackle deforestation and preserve forest resources were yielding the needed results.
He said it was also a justification that the years of dialogue, consultations and negotiations with local communities, traditional authorities, government agencies, the private sector, civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) on sustainable climate-actions had paid off.
"The road to global 1.5 degrees cannot be achieved without healthy standing forests, and we are committed to making it possible,” the minister added.
Mr Jinapor further said that the country would take advantage of the carbon market to make money to meet the national determined contributions.
"It is a two-pronged approach to contribute to the global effort at halting climate change and also making money for our people," he said.
The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Pierre Laporte, said the payment was the first of four under the country’s Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) with the bank meant "to demonstrate potential for leveraging results-based payments for carbon credits.”
In a statement issued last Tuesday, he said Ghana was eligible to receive up to $50m for 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions reduced by the end of 2024.
That would, however, be subject to showing results from actions taken to reduce deforestation, Mr Laporte added.
According to the World Bank, those actions were within a six-million hectare stretch of the West African Guinean Forest, where biodiversity and forests were under pressure from cocoa farming, unsustainable harvesting and small-scale mining.