Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has launched the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reduction Project (GSLERP) in Tamale to develop the shea and its byproducts and create jobs for more than 600,000 women in the northern sector.
The project, developed by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources through the Forestry Commission, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Global Shea Alliance, is on the theme: “Climate Resilience for People, Industry and Forests”.
It was approved by the Green Climate Fund with a net worth of $54.5million, a grant component of $30.1 million and Co-funded by the Government with $24.4 million.
The Vice President said the project was to mitigate the effects of climate change on the fragile ecosystem of northern Ghana and improve the shea value chain, especially for small-scale shea entrepreneurs.
Vice President Bawumia said with Ghana being the fourth largest producer of shea in the world, he believed the project, when successfully implemented, would change the status with the planting of 1.7 million shea trees over a seven-year period.
He said President Akufo-Addo’s administration, upon assumption of office, supported scientific research on the shea plant to guard towards making it a reliable income generating product.
He commended the stakeholders of the project, especially the sector Minister, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, and the Forestry Commission for their relentlessness efforts in ensuring the launch and implementation of the project.
“This Ministry has led the country to receive the highest grant amount to any Ghanaian government institution from the Green Climate Fund. They have made our country proud by living up to their mandate”.
Dr Bawumia appealed to all chiefs and partners of the project to keep up the good work to ensure its successful implementation and also called on farmers to own the programme and contribute to its success.
Mr Jinapor, on his behalf, said the project would contribute significantly to the global fight against climate change and its effects.
He said nine out of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals would be achieved through the project, and would help reduce some 6.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions in the first seven years.
“Climate Change is the greatest threat to the realisation of the sustainable development goals, which has enormous impact on the fundamentals required for our survival on earth,” Mr Jinapor said.
He said at the COP 26 made a strong case for nature base solution to climate change because apart from supporting the lives and livelihoods of some 1.6 billion citizens across the world, forestry and land use offered fast, reliable and empirical evidence based action to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He said effective implementation of this project would improve sustainable ecosystem services and productivity level of the shear supply chain, as well as increase resilience in climate change.
To encourage afforestation, the Minister said President Nana Akufo-Addo had accepted to launch the Green Ghana Day on March 1, 2022.
He commended the Vice President for accepting the invitation to the launch the GSLERP and for his show of kindness and exemplary leadership, stating that his contribution to Ghana was demonstrably unflinching.
He commended the chiefs in the Northern Region for their support in placing a ban on production of charcoal for commercial purposes, which had largely contributed to the reduction in carbon emissions.