Ghana has received $9.75 million approval from the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF), Forest Investment Program (FIP) with the support of African Development Bank (AfDB) to undertake the Engaging Local Communities in REDD+/Enhancement of Carbon Stocks (ELCIR+) project.
The ELCIR+ project will help reduce forest degradation and deforestation, increase carbon stocks and reduce poverty by engaging communities in land management approaches that generate financial and environmental benefits for them.
The project will pilot a jurisdictional approach to REDD+ at the regional level focusing on the Western and Brong Ahafo regions. Twelve thousand people, half of them women, will receive capacity-building support, seeds and equipment, and financial incentives through benefit-sharing agreements to develop forestry, agro forestry and alternative livelihoods activities. An additional 175,000 people will indirectly benefit.
Albert Mwangi, AfDB’s task manager for the project said, “Approval of this project means that Ghana can exponentially ramp up sustainability of its forest sector and ensure that forest-related communities are both recipients and creators of effective and climate-smart economic solutions”. “The project builds on the AfDB’s history of support in Ghana for sustainable forest management to generate positive environmental and socio-economic outputs. We look forward to the lessons coming out of the project’s implementation.”
The project has four components:
• Support for community alternative livelihoods and capacity-building for government and local communities: resulting in an increased number of communally managed enterprises, more trained staff and beneficiaries, and knowledge management studies.
• Support for community restoration of degraded off-reserve forests and agricultural landscape: resulting in rehabilitated forest and woodlots, operational guidelines for off-reserve forest management and benefit-sharing, forests and sacred groves conserved, and wildfire management plans implemented.
• Promoting climate-smart and environmentally responsible cocoa and agro forestry systems: resulting in an increase in hectares under agro forestry, and more farmers practising improved fallow management practices.
• Support for project management and Monitoring & Evaluation: resulting in more timely reports and audits, and strengthened forestry M&E.
The project design was developed, in line with FIP requirements, through an intensive stakeholder consultation process that included the private sector such as timber industry, woodworkers associations, plantation developers, cocoa farmers, and those involved in charcoal production, agriculture and finance, civil society and community organizations (such as forest fringe communities, NGOs specializing in the environment, climate change, natural etc). This consultative approach has provided the country with an opportunity to benefit from the FIP Dedicated Grant Mechanism (DGM) which will make additional resources available to support community participation in the country’s FIP program.
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