Government has taken steps to help reduce the ever-increasing rate of carbon emission in the country dubbed: “Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCFRP)”.
This was after government had signed the first Emission Reduction Payment Agreement (ERPA) with the World Bank, which is the trustee for the carbon fund for performance-based payments for up to $50 million under the GCFRP.
The objective of the GCFRP is to significantly reduce carbon emissions resulting from cocoa expansion into forest through the promotion of appropriate climate-smart cocoa production approaches, including intensification and yield enhancement.
The programme also seeks to curb illegal timber harvesting and mining, while incorporating shade trees in cocoa systems, build climate-resilience for the cocoa sector in order to secure rural livelihoods and sustain national development.
Speaking on the theme, “Achieving 10 Million Tonnes Emission Reduction in Six Years” at the launch of the GCFRP in Accra on Friday, President Akufo-Addo said, “This makes Ghana the third country to sign such an agreement which reinforces its determination to address climate change through nature-based solution.”
The programme also represents one of the key commitments of Ghana's effort to contribute to the UN framework convention on climate change.
“If we have to succeed, we must among others increase agric productivity, embark on massive deforestation and tree planting exercises by planting some 1 billion hectares of trees across the world by 2050 and significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuel,” he stressed.
While he admitted to the fact that “the fight will be difficult”, the President was, however, quick to add “but it is one we cannot afford to lose.”
He has, therefore, charged the Forestry Commission and the Ghana COCOBOD to ensure that they join forces through the GCFRP to make the country's cocoa sector climate-resilient.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, said “per the terms and conditions of this agreement, Ghana shall be advanced an amount of 1.3 million US dollars to kick-start some of the activities in the programme document.”