African Development Bank approves $9.75 million from climate investment fund to help Ghana fight deforestation
| By Vincent Nzemeke | Oct. 14, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
GHANA is poised to transform its forestry sector. To this end, the African Development Bank, AfDB, has facilitated the approval of $9.75 million for the country from the climate investment funds, CIF, to help fight deforestation known as Engaging Local Communities in REDD+/Enhancement of Carbon Stocks, ELCIR+. The project will help reduce deforestation and forest degradation, increase carbon stocks and reduce poverty by engaging communities in land management approaches that generate financial and environmental benefits for them. The project will pilot a jurisdictional approach to REDD+ at the regional level focusing on the Western and Brong Ahafo regions. Twelve thousand people, half of them women, will receive capacity-building support, seeds and equipment, and financial incentives through benefit-sharing agreements to develop forestry, agro forestry and alternative livelihoods activities. An additional 175,000 people will indirectly benefit from the project.
Albert Mwangi, AfDB’s task manager for the project, said: “Approval of this project means that Ghana can exponentially ramp up sustainability of its forest sector and ensure that forest-related communities are both recipients and creators of effective and climate-smart economic solutions. The project builds on the AfDB’s history of support in Ghana, for sustainable forest management to generate positive environmental and socio-economic outputs. We look forward to the lessons coming out of the project’s implementation.”
The project, which has four components, is expected to cater for the following areas which include providing support for community restoration of degraded off-reserve forests and agricultural landscape. This will result in rehabilitated forest and woodlots, operational guidelines for off-reserve forest management and benefit-sharing, forests and sacred groves conserved, and wildfire management plans implemented. It will also promote climate-smart and environmentally responsible cocoa and agroforestry systems. This will also result in an increase in hectares under agro forestry, and more farmers practising improved fallow management practices.
This project will also ensure support for community alternative livelihoods and capacity-building for government and local communities which will bring about an increased number of communally managed enterprises, more trained staff and beneficiaries, and knowledge management studies. It will also get support for project management and monitoring and evaluation which will ensure timely reports and audits, and strengthened forestry monitoring and evaluation.
The project design was developed, in line with Forest Investment Programme, FIP, requirements, through an intensive stakeholder consultation process that included the private sector such as timber industry, woodworkers associations, plantation developers, cocoa farmers, and those involved in charcoal production, agriculture and finance, civil society and community organizations. This consultative approach has provided the country with an opportunity to benefit from the FIP dedicated grant mechanism, DGM, which will make additional resources available to support community participation in the country’s forest programme.