President Akufo-Addo has called on the international community, both public and private, to partner with Ghana to implement its Country Package under the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), dubbed “Resilient Ghana: Advancing Climate Action for Prosperity.”
He said the urgency to implement forest solutions to tackle climate change, required that the world comes together, to mobilise support for nature-positive action.
The President made the call at a high level event at the ongoing twenty-eighth Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where he announced Ghana’s Country Package.
It will be recalled that at COP26 in Glasgow, world leaders adopted the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
At COP27 in Sharm El Shiekh, Egypt, Ghana joined the United Kingdom to launch the FCLP as a vehicle to deliver on the ambitious target of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration.
The Country Packages is an initiative of the FCLP to design, develop and implement an integrated system-wide wholistic suit of interventions to address Forest Landscape Restoration, according to each country’s Nationally Determined Contributions.
Since the launch of the FCLP, Ghana has been working on this Country Package, which was socialised broadly on the sidelines of New York Climate Week in September, 2023, in a workshop which had in attendance a number of partners, including the World Bank, the Tony Blair Institute, Bezos Earth Fund, the Governments of the USA, UK, Norway, Singapore.
The Package is hinged on three (3) main pillars, namely, advancing nature-based industrialisation 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 forest landscape economy with a ripple effect on the macro-economy by generating some Twelve Billion US Dollars (US$12,000,000,000.00) 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.
Announcing the details of the Country Package, President Akufo-Addo said “Resilient Ghana” is a vision to strengthen Ghana’s economy, protect and restore her 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 the launch of the FCLP signified 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 programme, 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 the Governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), United States of America (USA), Singapore and Canada. Already, UAE has committed to support the Package with Thirty Million US Dollars (US$30,000,000.00).
The UAE High Level Champion on COP28, H.E. Razan Al-Mubarak, commended Ghana on her leadership on forests, climate and nature, adding that the UAE is “pleased to deepen our bilateral cooperation with Ghana by joining the Country Package for Forests, Nature and Climate and supporting development of sustainable agriculture forest restoration, ecosystem services and sustainable livelihoods for local communities.”
The United States Special Presidential Envoy on Climate, Secretary John Kerry, in a goodwill message said “The United States is pleased to join partners in Resilient Ghana in supporting Ghana's ambitious efforts to halt deforestation and restore 2 million ha of degraded lands.” On her part, the Minister for Sustainability and Environment of Singapore, H.E. Ms. Grace Fu, said “Singapore will continue to work with Ghana to operationalise and implement this initiative.”
World leaders are meeting in Dubai, UAE, to discuss measures to halt climate change and its devastating consequences on lives and livelihoods.
The Conference, which begun on Thursday, November 30, is expected to run until Tuesday, December 12, 2023, with several countries making new commitments towards halting climate change.