President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday said Ghana will through the implementation of her Nationally Determined Contributions in the forestry sector, support the global target of halving emissions by 2030, and attain neutrality by 2050.
The President also assured that, “from 2024 and beyond, we aim to reduce emissions by some 10million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in the cocoa-forest landscape, through the implementation of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD Programme, one of five ecological landscape-tailored programmes in Ghana’s REDD Strategy.”
Speaking at a side-line event on protecting the world’s forests and oceans, at the ongoing Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, President Akufo-Addo described deforestation and forest degradation as the “greatest challenges to sustainable forest management” in Ghana.
Therefore, the country he said had in the course of the last two decades, adopted several policies and programmes, such as National Forest Plantation Development Programme and the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy, aimed at restoring her lost forest.
“In June this year, I led the entire country, through the Green Ghana Project, to plant over seven million trees, far above the five million we had targeted. Next year, we aim to plant a minimum of twenty million trees, and we have already begun earnest preparations towards this,” he added.
Regarding Ocean management, President Akufo-Addo reiterated Ghana’s commitment to managing sustainably her ocean, as the historic Transformation Document that was launched in December last year, enjoined the country to do.
He added that the country was putting in place the requisite structures and processes to finalise her Sustainable Ocean Plan by 2025.
“The pressing threats we face are marine security, due to the prevalence of piracy and armed robbery on our seas, the mounting menace of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing (IUU), overfishing and its attendant decline in fish stocks, and plastic pollution,” he said.
As Ghana deals with these challenges, in partnership with the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea, “we are also conducting an Ocean Governance Study to help us strengthen our legal and institutional framework for ocean management”.
In addition, the President noted that to help reduce the excessive pressure, over-exploitation and to replenish Ghana’s falling marine fish stocks, just as was done last year, Ghana had implemented a closed season for artisanal and industrial finishing.
“The results have been a phenomenal success, and we intend to continue to implement this policy with huge positive dividends over the medium-term. We must leverage our collective political influence, build strong partnerships with business leaders and influencers in civil society to drive effectively the implementation of the Transformations Document by all countries,” he added.