Special aide to former President Mahama, Joyce Bawah Mogtari has added her voice to the call on the government to, as a matter of urgency protect lives in the Volta Region by constructing and extending the sea defense levee to prevent the encroachment of the sea on their land and livelihoods.
She said the suggestion for the relocation of the people to a higher and safer ground is neither here nor there because the entire Volta Region is bordered on the coast “so relocating from point A will just lead you to point B”.
Mrs Mogtari reiterated the point that there must be advocacy and education on practices that will allow man and the sea to coexist without the challenges currently facing the country in respect of the tidal waves on the communities in the Volta Region.
She said this is a wake up call that affords the country the opportunity to address the looming danger in the country and that government will consider the call by acting on time to protect the lives of the people who live along the coast.
Mrs Mogtari criticized the ineffectiveness of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) for basic needs like temporary shelter, disposable toilet facilities and healthcare for the affected communities.
“I believe NADMO itself is currently facing some serious financial constraints. I have seen NADMO in the past and I have seen their response teams and the level of their response. I think this one has largely been muted because if you even listen to the Member of Parliament and even the chief who spoke, if they have received even a visit by some high level government delegation, even that would have given them a certain modicum of comfort but it seems there is a certain dereliction of duty under the circumstances,” she said.
She charged that the country is over emphasising the value of food rather than what the people really need to ease their plight in their current straits against what NADMO is giving them in the region.
Mrs Mogtari said if the government had cut down on some of the profligate spending in the country, government would have come up with the $600 million to complete the construction of the sea defense levee in the affected communities in the Volta Region.
She made this call in an interview with Berla Mundi on the New Day on TV3, Friday November 12, on the back of the tidal waves that has affected communities like Keta and its environs, rendering about 4000 people homeless and destroying properties in the process.
“So relocating is one thing, where are you relocating them to? Because along the whole of the Volta really is a whole coastal environment so relocating from point A will just take you to point B. I think for now what we need to do is first and foremost ensure that we are protecting human lives. I think that the sea defense should be extended, like former President Rawlings spoke about and then we should take it from there,” she called on the government.
Climate Change: Ghana To Tap In To $1Bn Fund To Halt Deforestation
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has signed a letter of intent with the LEAF Coalition allowing Ghana to enter into purchase agreements with corporate signatories to a global fund that supports forest-based efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
The minister signed the letter at a ceremony on Wednesday (3 November) on the fringes of the UN World Leaders Summit on climate change, COP26, which is taking place in Glasgow.
Among guests at the signing was John Kerry, the former US secretary of state who is now the United States special presidential envoy for climate.
The LEAF Coalition is a public-private partnership underpinned by a financial commitment to support countries that are protecting their tropical forests. The spillover benefits to countries entering the deforestation coalition include protection of biodiversity, improved health and preservation of sources of food and livelihood for millions of people.
So far LEAF has mobilised US$1 billion towards supporting afforestation and reforestation programmes internationally and the fund is expected to grow to several billions. It is the largest public-private effort ever assembled to end tropical deforestation.
National forest strategy:
Ghana’s proposal to LEAF hinges on a policy launched in 2008 when the country joined the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, expanded in 2016 under the national REDD+ Strategy, which covers national measures to minimise deforestation over the period 2016-2035.
Two main schemes are anchoring the strategy: the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reduction Project and the better-established Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Project.
In June this year the Forestry Commission, under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, launched the country’s single largest ever tree planting programme. The Green Ghana Day initiative, observed across the country on 11 June, led to the planting of over 5.5 million tree seedlings.
Species planted under the Green Ghana programme included fruiting and flowering trees. However, the emphasis was on hardwood forest species such as cassia, mahogany, teak and ofram.
Over 30 territories, including areas in the Amazon rainforest region, provinces and nation states, have put forward proposals to tap into the LEAF Coalition fund. Twenty-three of those have successfully gone through an initial technical screening process an Ghana is one of the first five cleared to advance the process towards benefiting from the programme.
The other countries in the first wave are Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nepal and Vietnam.
LEAF works with corporate clients open to its set criteria of high-level, science-based emissions reductions in their own value chains, with a target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Cabinet approves new Wildlife Resources Management Bill
Cabinet has approved the new Wildlife Resources Management Bill, 2021 during its 17th meeting. The Bill seeks to revise and consolidate all laws relating to wildlife and protected areas, and bring the new legislation in conformity with existing policies in the sector.
Cabinet has approved the new Wildlife Resources Management Bill, 2021 during its 17th meeting.
The Bill seeks to revise and consolidate all laws relating to wildlife and protected areas, and bring the new legislation in conformity with existing policies in the sector.
It will also ensure the implementation of international conventions on wildlife of which Ghana is a signatory.
This is in a statement issued by the Public Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
It said the current legislation that governs wildlife and protected areas, including the Wild Animals Preservation Act, 1961 (Act 43), the Wildlife Conservation Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 685) and the Wildlife Reserves Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 710) enacted some 50 years ago were not in tune with current international best practices for wildlife protection and management.
“These laws do not provide a proper legal framework for the implementation of the Forest and Wildlife Policy, 2012, the Forestry Development Master Plan (2016-2036) and other national and international frameworks that guide sustainable resource management, all of which were adopted years after the current Legislation,” the statement said.
Apart from the deficiencies, the legislations did not clearly define the aims and objectives of wildlife management and the various categories of protected areas, and also lacked deterrent sanctions for wildlife offences.
To address those gaps and shortfalls in the current wildlife laws, it said a new Wildlife Resources Management Bill had been developed through a very extensive consultative process involving both state and non-state actors.
The Bill will provide for a new management structure to give legal backing to local communities in wildlife management through the creation of Community Resources Management Areas (CREMAs) and ensure higher penalties and sanctions regime for wildlife offences, which is deterrent enough to protect the wildlife resources.
When passed it will provide for the implementation of several International Wildlife Conventions of, which Ghana is a signatory.
These include the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitats (RAMSAR) 1971, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (CITES), 1973, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (BONN) 1979, as well as several indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Cabinet’s approval of the Bill means that it is now ready to be presented to Parliament for consideration, and hopefully, passage.
The statement said the extensive consultation with the relevant stakeholders in the review process had engendered a lot of support, inputs and goodwill from all actors and provided a good indication of a successful implementation of the Bill when passed into law by Parliament.
Ghana, Emergent sign Letter of Intent to deal with climate change
The government yesterday signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Emergent, a US non-profit organisation, under the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition at the ongoing COP 26 Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
The LoI indicates the potential for the country to enter into a purchase agreement with the LEAF Coalition Members for REDD+ results-based payments.
REDD+ stands for countries’ efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
It is a climate change mitigation solution being developed by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Ghana believes that the LEAF Coalition initiative demonstrates ambition to provide near commensurate financial value for carbon emission reduction at $10 per tonne to incentivise further collective ambition to address the climate emergency with urgency.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, who signed on behalf of the government of Ghana, noted that the climate crisis was getting worse by the day, as the world was gradually reaching a tipping point.
Other signitories are Brazilian Environment Minister, Mr. Gusatvo Manrique and Nepalese Minister of Finance, Mr. Madhu Marasini.
He said, required robust action and a concerted effort to reverse the negative trend, adding that “we cannot do this if we do not protect tropical forests, which are the ‘Lungs of the Earth’, absorbing the carbon dioxide we exhale and thereby contributing to the reduction in emissions”.
“Despite our knowledge of the importance of tropical forests, we continue to lose them at a very alarming rate. We are told that the world lost some estimated 10 million hectares (10,000,000ha) of primary tropical forest only last year. We cannot allow this to continue.
“But reversing this also requires that we raise the needed financing through public-private partnerships,” he said.
Mr. Jinapor noted that Ghana had begun an aggressive afforestation programme aimed at restoring its lost forest cover and was also embarking on efforts to reclaim its degraded lands.
He indicated that Ghana had declared June 11, each year as “Green Ghana Day”, on which all citizens and foreigners living in Ghana were encouraged to plant at least one tree each.
“This year, on Green Ghana Day, our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is also co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Group of Eminent Advocates on the Sustainable Development Goals, led the country to plant seven million trees, far above the five million target we had set for ourselves.
“Next year, on Green Ghana Day, we aim to plant at least 20 million trees, and we are earnestly preparing towards this. Our goal is to inculcate in Ghanaians the culture of tree planting as a means of restoring our lost forest cover and contributing to the reduction in emissions,” he said.
Mr. Jinapor said one thing was very clear — that governments alone could not raise the finances needed to reverse the climate crisis, while the commitment by developed countries to raise $100 billion annually to support developing countries by 2020 had not materialised.
“This is why the LEAF Coalition is so crucial to our fight against climate change. The government of Ghana is willing to work with the coalition to invest in reduced deforestation, aggressive afforestation and sustainable rural development.
“Let me reiterate the fact that the commitment of President Akufo-Addo and his government to lead Ghana to contribute to the global effort to come to grips with the existential crisis of climate change is total and unwavering,” he said.
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