Ghana positions itself for more climate investment – Ministry

Ghana is positioning itself to draw more local and foreign investment to address climate change issues and conserve its forest, the Ministry of Finance has said.

To do so, the Ministry has disclosed that it would soon establish a Climate Division to tap into financial resources being dedicated by multilateral development finance institutions and climate investors across the world.

The Ministry said it was also working closely with social and development partners to seek innovative financing solutions and leverage on all forms of investments in forest conservation and climate resilience.

That would be done along with the allocation of funds to strengthen the capacities of forestry agencies, enhance monitoring and enforcement mechanisms and provide incentives for sustainable forest management practices.

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, the Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, called on all Ghanaians to embrace their role as custodians of the country’s forests and work collectively to take climate actions.

He was speaking at the commemoration of the 2023 Green Ghana Day in Accra, where the Ministry, together with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department planted some 200 trees.

Across the 16 regions of the country, about 10 million trees were being targeted to be planted on the occasion of the 2023 Green Ghana Day, to help restore the lost forest cover and make the environment conducive for both people and animal living.

“Let’s join hands in planting trees, protecting our natural resources, and promoting sustainable living. Each one of us has a responsibility to safeguard our forests, protect our health and the health of future generations,” Dr Amin said.

He expressed worry about the depletion of Ghana’s forest cover, caused by deforestation, illegal logging, and unsustainable land-use practices, which had reduced the eight million tropical forest in 1900 to the current 2.7 million.

He said those activities did not on only jeopardise the health of the country’s forests but it also undermined Ghana’s economic well-being, and encouraged Ghanaians to actively participate in the exercise.

Dr Adam urged Ghanaians to plant and nurture trees to support efforts to strengthen forest governance, promote reforestation and afforestation initiatives, and engage in responsible land-use practices.

He also asked staff of the Ministry to engage in practices that would “sustain this beautiful planet, minimise waste in our paper usage, save energy by switching off the lights while we are not in the offices, and separate our waste for recycling.”

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Madam Abena Osei-Asare, Deputy Minister of Finance, said: “Soon, the Ministry of Finance will be setting up a Climate Division to take advantage of the relatively cheaper resources out there.”

She said such effort was to help address some of the issues that have come about as a result of the adverse effects of climate change.

“The effect of climate change is happening across the globe but those of us in sub-Saharan Africa, are feeling it the more but do not have enough financial and other resources to meet the demands. What we can do is to come up with an agenda that’s more preventive,” she said.

On the theme for this year’s Green Ghana Day commemoration, “Our forest, our health,” she underscored the dichotomy between plants and healthy living, including the medicinal properties of plants and animals in the ecosystem also help to balance things.

“So, whatever we have to do to protect the sea, our forest cover and the animals that live within, we’ll have to do it and ensure that we do our part [as citizens] to prevent the dire effects of climate change on all of us,” Mad Osei-Asare said.

To ensure effective nurturing of the trees planted and their sustainability to contribute to the achievement of the objective of the Green Ghana Day, she said the Ministry would dedicate its staff to take care of the trees.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ghana’s investment requirement for its 31 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) actions is estimated at $22.6 billion over a 10-year period.

UNDP had indicated that most of the investment would need to come from international public funding and private capital.

As such: “It is therefore critical to consider innovative financing models such as blended financing, green bonds and carbon financing for development,” UNDP said. 

Efforts to increase investment for Ghana’s climate actions had become critical has the first NDCs sought to reduce emissions by 15 to 45 percent below business-as-usual scenario by 2030 drew closer.

Meanwhile, the World Bank Group’s 2022 Country Climate and Development Reports had indicated that despite a slowdown in progress in the last three decades, Ghana could turn challenges into opportunities by taking a climate resilient and low-carbon pathway, which would deliver more than $26 billion in economic benefits by 2040.

Source: GNA

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