The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the British High Commission in Ghana have committed to promote forests and other nature-based solutions to climate change at the upcoming twenty-seventh Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from 6th to 18th November, 2022.
The two institutions made the commitment during a Cocktail event organised by the Ministry and the High Commission in Accra on Thursday.
The event was to bring together stakeholders in nature-based climate actions, to work together towards a common goal at the upcoming COP27.
It was also meant to provide highlights on activities to be undertaken by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and other Government agencies at COP27, as well as create a platform for stakeholders to share ideas and contribute to discussions ahead of the Conference.
Speaking at the event, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, said the Government of the United Kingdom is committed to climate action, particular safeguarding the world’s forests.
She acknowledged Ghana’s signing of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, and said as this year’s COP is hosted in Africa, it must focus on mitigation, adaption, climate finance and forests.
She recognised the importance of forests to the Ghanaian economy, and called for a sustainable contribution from the forest sector to the economy.
High Commissioner Harriet pledged the United Kingdom’s support for nature-based solutions to climate change, through initiatives such as the Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI).
She said the United Kingdom has put in place measures to ensure that all timber harvested for domestic and international market are coming from verified legal sources.
The High Commissioner added that Ghana will play a leading role in the new Forests and Leaders’ Climate Partnership, a new initiative by the UK Government, as well as galvanising leadership on sustainable supply chains. She said Ghana is at the forefront to bring together people, forests and climate, and COP27 is necessary to maintain the momentum garnered at COP26.
On his part, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel A. Jinapor, said over 50% of Ghana’s climate emissions come from Agriculture, Forests and Land Use (AFOLU) activities. He added that expert reports say forests and other nature-based solutions can deliver up to a third of climate solutions. He, therefore, admonished all stakeholders to commit to forests and nature-based solutions to climate change.
The Minister who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Damongo said Ghana will play a lead role at the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, to give steam to the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use.
He said the partnership will create a platform for member states to scale up forest conservation and restoration actions to implement climate solutions, and promote sustainable development, as well as provide a unique space for intergovernmental collaboration and coordinated action with partners and stakeholders.
Mr. Jinapor pledged the commitment of Ghana to use her leadership on the on the FCLP to showcase the country’s climate actions to synergize work on addressing forest loss.
He said Ghana has, already, achieved emissions reductions for the first reporting period of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Program, to the tune of 972,456 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent ((972,456tCO2e) emission reductions, which have been verified and validated by third parties.
The Minister called on all stakeholders, to scale up forest and other nature-based climate solutions, and rally behind Government to promote forests solutions to climate change.