Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ghana.Carbon rights

REDD+ offers monetary incentives that could complement Ghana’s efforts to conserve what remains of its forest estate and further expand forests. State managed forest reserves, covering an area of 1.6 million ha, have been depleted and, to a large extent, degraded: less than 2% of forest reserves are said to be in excellent condition, and no less than half have been described as ‘mostly degraded or in worse condition’ (Treue, 2001; Bamfo, 2010).Outside the reserves, what are known as the “off-reserve forests” occupy an area of4.5m ha and are made up of scattered trees on agricultural fields, secondary forests regenerating from agricultural farming, riparian forest strips along streams, sacred groves and some closed-canopy forests, making them unprofitable to manage (Kotey et al., 1998; Abebrese, 2002). In Ghana, degradation is presumed to contribute more to forest carbon stock reduction than deforestation (Hansen et al., 2009). As REDD has expanded to include other activities, such as the sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks (“REDD +”), Ghana has a real opportunity to benefit, given the potential for the enhancement of forest carbon stocks through afforestation and reforestation activities. To take advantage of this, Ghana has been participating in the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) that aims to assist developing countries in building capacity for REDD+. So far, Ghana’s Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) has been approved.

It is currently in the process of demonstrating how it would comply with the World Bank’s social and environmental safeguards before the grant agreement, which funds the implementation of Ghana’s R-PP and national REDD+ strategy, is signed (Bamfo, 2010). In Ghana the main drivers of deforestation are agricultural expansion, illegal logging and fuel wood collection. Since the 1990s, a number of statutes, regulations and development plans originating in the Forest and Wildlife Policy 1994 (FWP), have been introduced in an attempt to reverse the effects of decades of unsustainable forest management policies and practices. The primary objective of most of these reforms is to safeguard the State’s timber resources. Some of the other objectives, like the enhancement
of [degraded] forest estates, conservation of biodiversity and rural community participation, are compatible with those of REDD+. If Ghana is to benefit from REDD+, key stakeholders, for example the farmers and forest dependent communities who contribute to a significant proportion of the deforestation rate, must be suitably incentivized, for example through ensuring their share in the benefits generated by REDD+. Although rural community participation has been sought, the necessary changes to tree tenure that would incentivize these stakeholders have not been made yet.

World Bank.Author: Osafo,Y.B.Document Date:2010/10/01.Document Type: Working Paper.Report Number: 65868.Volume No:1 of 1