Minister for Finance Ken Ofori- Atta has reaffirmed government’s commitment to leverage its natural resources to fund a sustainable transition to a low carbon economy. This will be done by facilitating private sector participation in low carbon activities and industries in a manner that generates more jobs for Ghanaians and improves our general wellbeing.
In the course of the last two decades, we have adopted several policies and programmes aimed at restoring our lost forests. Between 2002 and 2020, under the National Forest Plantation Development Programme and the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy, some five hundred and eighty-eight thousand hectares (588,000ha) of plantations have been established.
Again, through the Youth in afforestation Programme, we are committed to reclaiming some 7.6 million hectares of degraded forest and farm lands.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed this on the floor of Parliament while delivering the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2022 Financial Year, on the theme ‘Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation: Fiscal Consolidation and Job Creation’.
Government is committed to promoting climate-adaptation activities to enhance agricultural production in the country, he said.
“We will be collaborating with the Global Centre on Adaptation, in close collaboration with the African Development Bank, in pioneering solutions on how to build durable infrastructure and supporting African cities to guard against the impacts of climate change,” he added.
He said government will be working with the private sector, and with assistance from the Green Climate Fund, to establish a multi-million-dollar Green Fund to support our climate adaptation interventions.
“We shall, in addition, work with our traditional authorities and districts to issue innovative ‘mini muni adaptation bonds’ to address the issue of reclamation and re-afforestation in their localities. From 2024 and beyond, we aim to reduce emissions by some ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in the cocoa-forest landscape, through implementation of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme – one of five ecological landscape-tailored programmes in Ghana’s REDD+ Strategy,” he stated.
He noted that government, through nationally determined contributions in the forestry sector, is committed to supporting the global target of halving emissions by 2030 and attaining neutrality by 2050.
The Finance Minister said Ghana is committed to the Forest Agriculture Commodity Trade (FACT) dialogue process, and she affirms her resolve to support development and implementation of the FACT Roadmap Actions.
“We are determined to operationalise the Timber Legality 30 Assurance System, as part of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade process, which will enable us to track wood electronically and ensure that only legally compliant timber is allowed into any market,” he said.