The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the British High Commission in Ghana have committed to promoting forests and other nature-based solutions to climate change at the ongoing twenty-seventh Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The conference, which began on Sunday in Sharm El Sheikh, will end on November 18, 2022.
The agreement was reached between the Ministry and the British High Commission at a Cocktail event held 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 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, particularly safeguarding the world’s forests.
She acknowledged Ghana’s signing of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, saying “as this year’s COP is hosted in Africa, it must focus on mitigation, adaption, climate finance and forests”.
Importance of forest
She further recognised the importance of forests to the Ghanaian economy and called for a sustainable contribution from the forest sector to the economy.
She 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 had put in place measures to ensure that all timber harvested for domestic and international market are coming from verified legal sources.
“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. Ghana is at the forefront to bring together people, forests and climate, and COP27 is necessary to maintain the momentum garnered at COP26,” she added.
On his part, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said over 50 per cent 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.
Consequently, he admonished all stakeholders to commit to forests and nature-based solutions to climate change.
The Lands Minister 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.
“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,” he noted.
Mr Jinapor further pledged the commitment of Ghana to use her leadership on the FCLP to showcase the country’s climate actions to synergize work on addressing forest loss.