Ghana receives US$10 million to restore forest reserves

New public-private sustainable forest management partnership is backed by funding from AfDB and CIF FIP.

Ghana received approval on September 22 from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a project to restore degraded forest reserves and double a sustainable forest plantation through a first-of-its-kind Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in its forest sector. The project is backed by a US $10-million concessional loan from the Climate Investment Funds’ Forest Investment Program (CIF FIP) approved on July 1, and supplemented by US$14 million in co-financing from the AfDB.

The project approval comes a day after Ghana ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change at the UN in New York, signaling its full commitment to linking its climate action and development path. Ghana’s restoration of its forest sector will play an important role in meeting its commitments under the Agreement.

Ghana’s forests, which once covered a third of its 24-million-hectare landmass, have been degraded at an alarming rate by excessive and often illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, mining and quarrying, and fuelwood collection. The newly approved project aims to help reverse this trend by restoring and expanding an existing Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified 5,000 ha forest plantation to nearly 12,000 ha of sustainable commercial forest plantation.

“This is an exciting and significant investment in a key sector for Africa and one which provides multiple benefits to the continent,” said Gareth Phillips, AfDB’s CIF FIP coordinator. “The FSC certification has been key in getting this project approved, as it provides investors with the confidence that the project is sustainable and at the same time brings authentic long-term benefits to the communities and environment.”

Expected outcomes from the project include: net greenhouse gas sequestration, 11,700 ha of sustainably managed forest plantation with FSC and VCS certification and job creation.

Richard Fusi, Task Team Leader added, “We hope that this project becomes a replicable model for attracting private sector finance to this particular sector and that Ghana, through this project, will help lead the way for further investment in sustainable forest management in African countries.”

Image: File photo