Government has unveilled an ambitious ‘Resilient Ghana’ at the COP28 World Climate Action Summit in Dubai. This transformative plan envisions a harmonious coexistence between development and nature-positive actions.
As the global community grapples with pressing climate challenges, Ghana aims to become a beacon of innovation and resilience on the world stage. This initiative seeks to redefine the nation’s trajectory, positioning it as a leader in sustainable development.
“Ghana is recognized as a world leader for both its bold ambition on forests, climate and nature, and the unique and precious biodiversity it contains. It is a trailblazer in carbon markets. It has also made ambitious commitments to halt deforestation and restore 2 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 as an endorser of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, under the Bonn Challenge and the African Forest Landscape Initiative,” a statement announcing the partnership read in part.
“Forests are at the heart of socioeconomic development in the country, covering around 30 percent of total land cover and as a source of income and livelihood to nearly 1 in 10 Ghanaians. There are ongoing challenges that need to be addressed. Transformation is needed in key areas to maximize climate impact while securing co-benefits for people,” it added.
The partners involved in this project are the governments of Canada, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and United States of America. In addition, non-state actors such as the Country Package Seed Fund, Degas Ltd., the Forest Data Partnership, FSD Africa, GenZero, LEAF Coalition, The Omanhene Bean Company, Southbridge Investments (SBI) and World Resources Institute (WRI) are also contributing to the initiative. The goal of this collaboration is to promote sustainable development and protect the environment.
The initial programmes, partnerships and investments are aligned with partners’ priorities, capacities, circumstances and contributions across four thematic areas.
These include: scaling carbon markets by generating high-quality and high-integrity carbon credits; sustainable agriculture and mining; nature-positive timber and restoration; and enabling conditions.
Achieving a ‘Resilient Ghana’ will be a multi-year, multi-faceted effort. The country package represents an innovative, collaborative approach to supporting key action areas that advance climate action for prosperity in Ghana, conserving, protecting, and restoring forests while also securing alternative livelihoods for rural communities.
Ghana’s leadership towards ‘Resilient Ghana’ will serve as a template for Global South countries pursuing nature-based economic development, poverty reduction and carbon markets.
The Package is hinged on three (3) main pillars: namely advancing nature-based industrialization and sustainable rural development; building an inclusive green economy with future-fit green jobs and nature-based alternative livelihoods; and scaling climate ambition.
It is estimated that the Country Package will transform the forest landscape economy with a ripple-effect on the macro-economy by generating some US$12billion by 2030, through scaling compliance and voluntary carbon markets, promoting sustainable oil palm and cocoa farming models, restoring degraded forest lands and promoting eco-tourism.
In a related development, President Akufo-Addo – announcing details of the Country Package – said ‘Resilient Ghana’ is a vision to strengthen Ghana’s economy, protect and restore its abundant forests, meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost cocoa production, position the country as a global leader in sustainable timber, and scale-up tourism potential while creating jobs and livelihoods for people.
He said the world’s forests have over the years been undervalued and under-protected, and launching the FCLP signifies the urgency of accelerating action to halt and reverse forest loss.
According to the president, through the Country Package, Ghana will showcase how to transform the forest sector and strengthen the economy in tandem. This will be achieved, through strategies such as building a strong foundation to access international carbon markets, strengthening agricultural and mining practices, promoting aggressive afforestation and reforestation programmes, and reinforcing the enabling conditions for a just transition.
The Country Package will be implemented with partners from both government and the private sector, including governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), United States of America (USA), Singapore and Canada. Already, the UAE has committed to support the Package with US$30million.
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, expressed support for Ghana’s efforts to halt deforestation.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment of Singapore, Grace Fu, pledged to work with Ghana to implement the Forest, Nature and Climate initiative.
The LEAF Coalition and other partners expressed their support for the Country Package for Forests, Nature and Climate, to mobilise finance to support forest governments in their efforts to reverse forest loss.