National REDD strategy Ghana
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National REDD strategy Ghana

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Robert Bamfo, Head of Climate Change Unit, Ghana Forestry Commission

Robert Bamfo, Head of Climate Change Unit, Ghana Forestry Commission

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  • 1. Robert K. Bamfo Head of Climate Change Unit Forestry Commission Accra, Ghana [email_address] Rights, Forests and Climate Change, 15-17 October, 2008 Oslo, Norway
  • 2. Presentation Outline
    • Introduction
    • Challenges to Mitigating Forest-related Climate Change
    • Ongoing Policy Approaches and Initiatives on Climate Change
    • Weaknesses in Dealing with Climate Change
    • Next Operational Steps for Climate Change Mitigation Activities
    • Linkages between Ghana-EU VPA and REDD
    • Climate Change Opportunities
    • Road Map for REDD Process
    • Conclusions
  • 3. Introduction
    • Ghana is involved actively in the discussion of climate change and how to mitigate and adapt to it.
    • This commitment is shown by Ghana ratifying the UN Convention on Climate Change.
    • Ghana currently hosted a conference on climate change which is a proof of the recognition of the seriousness of climate change on its natural resources, economy and people.
    • Various climate change units have been set up by the government in various ministries and departments to study, advice and implement strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
    • The Environmental Protection of Agency (EPA) is the umbrella organization guiding the climate change process.
    • Most policy documents originate from the EPA and each ministry’s climate change unit handle their respective department’s concerns.
    • The Forestry Commission of Ghana has an active Climate Change unit which works in collaboration with the other organizations and departments for effective results.
  • 4.
    • Main challenges are:
      • Harvesting of fuelwood and charcoal to over 75 % of energy demand
      • Agricultural expansion through shifting cultivation
      • Illegal logging
      • Illegal chainsaw operations,
      • Encroachment by farmers on protected forests
      • Wildfires
      • Lack of robust monitoring system
      • Irregular inventory of forest resource
      • Inadequate incentive structures to ensure sustainable forest management.
      • Huge costs associated with SFM/Forest certification stds.
    •   In 1990, the total forest cover in the high forest zone was 7.45 million ha and reduced to 6.09 million ha in 2000. This corresponds to a deforestation rate of 1.8%
    • In 2005, the forest cover reduced further to 5.51 million ha. Between 2000 and 2005, the deforestation rate increased to 1.9%
    • By addressing the above challenges to SFM the needed climate change mitigation benefits through Sustainable Forest Management practices will be achieved
    • Forest resource inventory is not frequent to provide the needed reliable data for the accurate quantification of carbon stock changes in sustainably managed forests.
    • There is a lack of incentives to forest fringe communities and landowners to help maintain forest carbon sinks as well as promote additional carbon storage through sustainable forest management in order to discourage conversion of forest to other land
    Challenges to Mitigating Forest-related Climate Change
  • 5. Challenges to Mitigating Forest-related Climate Change (contd.)
  • 6.
    • The 1994 Forest and Wildlife Policy, the Forestry Development Master Plan and current policy reforms aim to reverse the loss of environmental resources through:
    • conservation of biodiversity, high sanctuaries, environmentally sensitive areas, watersheds etc for protection against logging.
    • sustainable forest management practices to enhance the protection, sustainable utilization and conservation of forest resources for the socio-economic benefits of all segments of the society
    • wildfire management in fire prone areas to reduce incidents of bushfires
    • collaborative management and protection of forest resources with active involvement of local communities
    • environmental stability and climate stability
    • forest resource rehabilitation and development. The benefit sharing formula for community based plantations is as follows:
    • Farmers – 40%
    • Forestry Commission - 40%
    • Traditional Authorities - 15%
    • Community - 5%
    On-going Policy Approaches and Initiatives to Address Forest related Climate Change
  • 7. E
    • Commercial forest plantation benefits are shared as follows:
    • Commercial Investor – 90%
    • Landowner (plus rent) - 6%
    • Forestry Commission - 2%
    • Community - 2%
    • The land lease is 50 years renewable after 1 st 25 years rotation
    • Participation in the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership to facilitate Ghana’s preparedness for REDD.
    • Initialing of Ghana-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement by ensuring good forest governance to address illegal logging and illegal chainsaw operations.
    On-going Policy Approaches and Initiatives to Address Forest related Climate Change (contd)
  • 8. Ghana’s Weaknesses in dealing with climate change
    • Land tenure systems affect resource management in Ghana as over 90% of land is controlled by traditional customary tenure system. Land is owned by stools/traditional owners/families etc. but trees are vested in the state.
    • The Forestry Commission is thereby powerless when confronted with these communal lands with regard to enforcing policy/regulations in off-reserve areas.
    • Lands under the state in the form of state forest and wildlife reserves are quite well managed, but those outside the reserves need more effort and the collaboration of traditional authorities and communities to manage.
    • Vestiture is a management right and NOT ownership right
    • There are no early warning systems in place to indicate the anticipated effects of climate change. Some indicators are useful to investigate so as to inform us of the direction and magnitude of specific problems. This will enable early adaptation strategies.
    •  
  • 9. Next Operational Steps for Climate Change Mitigation Activities
    • Initiate a broad consultation process to develop a REDD readiness plan for implementation by March, 2009. Key elements are:
      • Construct a multi-stakeholder process
      • Keep the consultation fluid
      • Put in place a workable institutional set up
      • Review and clarify forest rights, carbon rights and tenure for the rural poor in order to develop a legal/property rights framework for carbon finance.
        • REDD would proactively support SFM, forest protection activities, forest law enforcement and governance policy reform activities to combat illegal logging.
        • Legal contractual rights to access carbon benefits – CDM, REDD etc. Create a realistic mechanism to compensate for the opportunity cost of land set aside for REDD
        • Investment in tree planting. Ensure sustainable funding mechanism for plantation development and equitable benefit sharing schemes. Create mechanisms to sustain payment of benefits to forest dependent communities for poverty reduction.
        • Incorporation of CDM/REDD issues in Ghana’s development plan/agenda
  • 10. Next Operational Steps (contd.)
    • Identify threatened forests to demonstrate or pilot REDD activities in on-reserve and off-reserve areas starting from the protected areas and sacred groves within off-reserve areas as a means to develop technical and policy level capacity e.g. Appropriate institutional arrangements for carbon finance.
      • Criteria for pilot site selection
          • Forest quality and quantity (extent)
          • Conflict free areas
          • Areas with some baseline information
          • Less risk areas
          • Newly established plantations
  • 11. Next Operational Steps (contd.)
    • Design a credible monitoring and verification system for land use, land use change and forestry
      • To account for CO2 emissions and removals due to changes in carbon stocks on a timely basis
      • Use relevant methodology to build successive carbon stocks scenarios to calculate the net change of carbon stocks at a point in time by subtracting the previous scenario from the scenario related to the relevant point in time
      • Collections of available data images from remote and proximal sensing, ground truth and assessment of their suitability for the GHG monitoring
      • Use GIS for archiving and analyzing data coming from land-uses and carbon stocks
    • Collecting all the available data on biomass and carbon stocks of Ghana from:
      • Forest service and Forest companies
      • Research and scientific organizations and literature
      • International databases
      • Complement these with data of neighboring countries that can be considered comparable with the Ghanaian situation
    • Measures for Making REDD Sustainable
    • Permanent mechanism for stakeholder/actor dialogue/consultation
    • Continuous publicity/awareness creation
    • Permanent institutions tasked with implementation of REDD activities
    • Create mechanism for managing risk (e.g. wildfires)
  • 12. Next Operational Steps (contd.)
    • Integrating all collected information in a database and then work on harmonizing them by removing differences due to difference in methodologies applied for their generation
    • Plan a national carbon stock inventory system by expanding PSPs to areas not covered by the existing system of sampling (consider the chance to use the FAO NFMA as a starting point)
    • Collect data on expansion factors and conversion factor that allow transforming available data on biomass from partial portion (e.g. only merchantable wood) to the whole stock and from biomass to carbon (also checking on international database)
    • Determine national reference scenario based on:
      • Collection of all relevant historical data taking into account national circumstances
  • 13. Next Operational Steps (contd.)
    • What information will be useful to develop baseline and build scenarios:
      • Existing stocks
      • Afforestation / reforestation
      • Increment / growth
      • Drivers of deforestation and reforestation
    • How to generate the information
      • Upgrading the existing methods
      • New approaches (e.g. application of remote sensing)
      • Processing and Interpretation
      • Conversion of traditional forest inventory data into carbon stocks
      • Regional cooperation (sharing information on methodologies and experiences)
      • Lessons learnt from countries already implementing the programme  
  • 14. Next Operational Steps (contd.)
    • Capacity building and Institutional requirements
      • 1. Institutional requirements:
        • Identification of the institutions
        • Needs of the institutions
        • Roles of the Institutions
          • Institutional stakeholders: Forestry Commission, Forest fringe-communities, Traditional Authorities/Land owners, District Assembly, Civil Society, EPA, Research Institutions, MoFA, Minerals Commission, MLFM, Timber Industry,
          • FC: Generation of data and storage, monitor and reporting, protection, management
          • FC Needs: capacity needs (e.g. GIS capabilities,) Inventory capabilities, capacity to work with local communities
          • Fringe Communities: protection, resource creation, actors on stakeholder platform for REDD
        • Capacity needs: Training, Resources, Incentives, Equipment
        • Traditional Authorities:
        • Roles: Set byelaws and standards, resource creation, land allocation, mediators, community mobilization
        • Needs: Training, re-orientation, negotiation skills
        • EPA: Policy direction, standard setting, monitoring
  • 15. Next Steps (contd.)
    • District Assembly:
      • Roles: byelaws, negotiations, stakeholder platform, enforcement
    • Civil Society
      • Roles: Monitoring, awareness creation, mediation
    • Needs: training, resources and incentives
    • 2. Institutional arrangements
      • Stakeholder platform (integrate REDD agenda into existing structures)
      • Institutional linkages (a common database that would be managed by the platform)
      • Linkages with the international community: website, making use of the REDD negotiation team, national climate change committee, FC Climate Change Unit
      • Strengthen FC Climate Change Unit as a focal point for all REDD activities
      • Eventually explore possibility of establishing a permanent Climate change/REDD Secretariat from the existing institutional structures
  • 16. Linkages between Ghana-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) and REDD
  • 17. Climate Change Opportunities to Ghana
    • Clear opportunities exist for REDD to build up on the VPA governance platform as well as link up with policy initiatives/reforms under the VPA.
    • North-South and South-South collaboration will enable Ghana to benefit from financial and technical assistance. Current efforts from the EU have led to major infrastructural rehabilitation and capacity building for our staff. If this assistance continues then we can play our role in reducing emissions, increasing carbon sinks and ensuring sound environmental practices.
    • We may benefit from international early warning systems e.g. Eumetsat satellite monitoring etc. which can be useful in preventing famine, bushfires, water crisis and protecting wildlife. Technical know-how in this field is essential for good forest governance.
    • There will be carbon market opportunities for commercial forest plantation developers and community based plantation developers. This gives credibility to investments in the forest sector if the anticipated benefits become real.
  • 18. Road Map for the REDD Process Activity/ Output By Whom When Setting up National REDD Committee MLFM Oct, 30, 2008 R- Plan Completed FC, EPA &NRC Mar. 31, 09 Implementation of R- Plan All Stakeholder/NRC Mar, 09 – Dec 012 Appointment of Chairman Minister (MLFM) In Three Months from now 15/11/08) Awareness Creation NRC Start by Feb, 2009 Preparation of Information sheet and education material NRC/Consultant Ready by Mar, 2009 Communication Strategy NRC July, 2009 Country Review NRC/ Consultant Mar, 2009 Prepare TOR NRC Mar 09 Identify Consultant NRC Apr 09 Implement Review NRC/Consultant Jun, 09 Stakeholder Review Workshop NRC/Consultant Jan, 2010 Identification of Drivers of Deforestation and degradation Consultative meetings Late 09 – early 2010
  • 19. Conclusion
    • In general, mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the forest sector will require substantial and sustainable resources to implement particularly REDD.
    • Broad stakeholder consultation on REDD is important to define REDD approaches that would reflect national circumstances.
    • REDD for Ghana will involve readiness and capacity building along with demonstration activities, institutional arrangements, distributional mechanisms and benefit sharing, clarification of carbon rights etc.
    • Reliable baseline and robust monitoring approaches are essential for advancing REDD in Ghana including the need for investment in inventory and ground truthing capacity as well as remote sensing.
  • 20. END
    • THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION
    • [email_address]