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AfDB supports Ghana local communities with $14.55 million to reduce deforestation

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Board, on 22 January 2014, approved financing of $14.55 million for Ghana to help the country reduce deforestation and forest degradation as well as  protect carbon reservoirs for local communities in the Western and Brong Ahafo regions.

The project, called Engaging Local Communities in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) /Enhancement of Carbon Stocks, benefits from the support from the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) Forest Investment Program (FIP).  It will directly benefit 12,000 people, half of them women, by providing capacity building, seeds and equipment, and financial incentives through benefit-sharing agreements to develop forestry, agroforestry and alternative livelihoods. The project will also indirectly benefit 175,000 people in the two regions.

The support will make a major contribution to the Ghanaian forestry sector by helping mitigate effects of agricultural expansion, especially cocoa.  The project will also support sustainable supplies of timber to meet export and domestic demand, and clarify tree tenure and rights regimes.

“With the Board’s approval of this project for Ghana, we are helping advance empowerment of the local forest communities, at the bottom line the most significant people engaged in sustainably managing forests. We welcome the opportunity to work with Ghana and with the Forest Investment Program to ensure the success of this innovative project,” said Mafalda Duarte, AfDB’s CIF manager.

Key project components are:

  • Community restoration of degraded off-reserve forests and agricultural landscapes:  surveying, mapping and registration of 3,000 hectares (ha) of degraded plots and the conservation and management of 1,008 ha of dedicated forests and sacred groves;
  • Promoting climate-smart and environmentally responsible cocoa and agroforestry systems: supporting implementation of tested technologies in shade trees and integration of trees into 16,000 ha of cocoa landscapes; and
  • Community alternative livelihoods and capacity building:  supporting the establishment of 1,200 hectares of woodlots for fuel wood and charcoal production and enhancing the efficiency of charcoal production.

Success of the project will be determined through a results-based framework which considers a set of performance indicators, risk and mitigation measures, as well as and a set of defined verification measures. The project is in line with the AfDB’s commitment to green growth as a key cornerstone of African nations’ path to economic and social prosperity.

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