President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday joined the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak, to launch the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP).
The launch took place at the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), currently underway in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
FCLP is a new political forum that brings together governments and partners to work together to implement solutions that reduce forest loss, increase restoration, and support sustainable development.
It creates a platform for Heads of State and Government and their Ministers to combine their political efforts to accelerate global action to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.
It follows the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, adopted by world leaders at COP26, last year, where they committed to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. This new Partnership will ensure delivery and continued political focus on the 2030 target of the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration.
The Partnership will be co-Chaired by Ghana and the United States. FCLP’s Ministerial session, which will drive the ambition of the Partnership will be co-chaired by Ghana’s Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, MP, and the United States’ Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Senator John Kerry.
Speaking at the launch, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana is committed to sustainable land use and the protection and restoration of forest and other terrestrial ecosystems.
He pledged the country’s commitment to working with others to promote forests and other nature-based solutions to climate change.
The President also touted some forest policies already being implemented by Ghana, such as the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme, the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project, and the Green Ghana Project.
The President said the FCLP will provide a unique space for intergovernmental collaboration and coordinated action with the inputs of non-state partners and stakeholders.
He added that Ghana will use her leadership on the FCLP to foster cooperation among tropical forest countries in Africa and beyond, to make the FCLP a successful vehicle to drive significant and impactful contributions to Climate Action.
The UK Prime Minister said forests are one of the greatest natural wonders of the world but continues to be undervalued and underestimated.
He noted that the best way to achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius global target requires that Ghana protects its forest.
He further called on countries to deliver their climate promises, adding that the United Kingdom will deliver its 1.5 billion pounds pledge.
He reaffirmed commitment of the UK’s Government of 19 million pounds towards forests protection, and called on the private sector to commit funds to address the drivers of deforestation.