The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has called on the Ghana Institute of Foresters to bring on board frank and constructive ideas that will help save planet earth.
He said this at the 25th Annual General Meeting to deliberate on ways to contribute to Ghana’s response to Climate Change.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Sector Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor, at the AGM on Thursday, 24th November 2022, the Technical Director for Forestry, Mr Joseph Osiakwan quoted that “we have a collective responsibility to save planet earth, and bequeath to our children a more healthy, valuable and sustainable planet. The time for action is now.”
He continued by saying that the need to scale up the forest and other nature-based climate solutions is more important now than ever. Quoting the words of the American Forester and former Governor of Pennsylvania, Gifford Pinchot, to emphasise his point he said “Without natural resources, life itself is impossible… Upon them, we depend for every material necessity, comfort, convenience and protection in our lives.”
He informed the Foresters of the government’s commitment to this course saying “as Government, we have been implementing several measures aimed at restoring our lost forest cover and contributing to global climate action. Under the Ghana REDD+ Strategy, for example, we are implementing two key programmes – the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP), and the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project (GSLRP) – to restore our lost forest cover, increase cocoa and shea yields, and reduce Green House Gas Emissions in the high forest and savannah zones, respectively”
He went on to indicate that these two programmes can reduce emissions by some sixteen million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (16,000,000 tCO2e) within seven (7) years.
Mr Joseph Osiakwan further stated that to reduce further Ghana’s carbon emissions, Ghana signed, at COP 26, a Letter of Intent with the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition, to enter into negotiations for an agreement to provide financing to fight climate change through forest protection and reforestation, and the government is rigorously working to secure a binding Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement to support these forest-based climate actions.
He applauded the Foresters for their exceptional efforts in supporting the government in the management and utilisation of the country’s forest resources while congratulating them on their thirtieth (30th) anniversary.
“Since its establishment in 1992, the Institute has continued to provide professional support to Government for the management and utilisation of the forest resources of our country, and we are grateful”
The Technical Director urge them to be thorough and provide the Ministry with their candid professional opinion on the protection and efficient management of the country’s forest resources. “You must be brutally frank in your submission in this regard” He added.
He also assured the institute that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is willing and ready to work with them for the proper and effective management and utilisation of Ghana’s forest resources.
He wished the Foresters fruitful discussions, adding that he looks forward to an outcome that will position the country to halt and reverse forest loss in pursuance of our Forest and Wildlife Policies.
The Chairman at the event, Forester Dr Kwakye Ameyaw, Former President of the GIF and a Forester Consultant in his address congratulated the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Sector Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor for their relevant participation in the just ended COP27, playing vital roles that put Ghana out there as a nation making positive strides in the fight against Climate Change.
Relating efforts made at COP27 to the Theme of the AGM; Ghana’s Response to Climate Change: The GIF Perspective the Chairman said he is inclined to believe that as practising Foresters, they are duty bound to collaborate with the Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI) to work with relevant sectors, institutions and stakeholders to implement the nationally determined contribution to accelerate their development efforts and enhance the well-being of the Ghanaian people.
He said with all that’s going on around the world with regard to Climate Change, it is his expectation their deliberations throughout the AGM will revolve around what can practically be done by the Ghana Institute of Foresters to ensure the successful implementation of the updated national determined contribution.
He stated that he has no doubt in his mind that the global community will be expecting much from them concerning the implementation of the objectives of the forests and Climate Leaders Partnership as Ghana has chalked some phenomenal achievements so far, in addressing the Climate Change crisis.
Also at the meeting were the CEO of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr Kwabena Kokofu and the Deputy CEO of the Forestry Commission, Mr Sulemana Nyadia who gave fraternal greetings remarks to the Foresters.