Ghana has put some 628,388 hectares of its lands under restoration according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Restoration Barometer inaugural report to be launched today at the ongoing conference of parties to the UNConvention for Biological Diversity (COP15) in Montreal, Canada.
The country has also channelled $241,300,814 for nature funding, including, $49,762 from domestic philanthropic and non-profit, $43,035,381 from domestic public expenditure, $176,201,375 from international donor support, and $22,014,296 from private investment.
Between 2018 and 2022, the West African country has sequestered 21,218,334 tonnes of CO2 thanks to the ongoing restoration effort, which has also led to the creation of some 75,889 green jobs.
As such, it contributes to the 2,000,000 ha pledged for ecosystem restoration under international conventions such as the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Land Degradation Neutrality goal to provide a roadmap for a sustainable planet.
The Restoration Barometer is being used by a number of countries, including Ghana, to keep tabs on the restoration work being done as part of agreements to restore 48 million hectares of land worldwide by 2030.
Ghana has a total land area of 22,754,000 hectares, with forest accounting for 41% of the area. A 1990 report by the Forestry Commission Resource Management Support Centre estimated the country’s forest cover at 9 million ha, but by 2018, the forest cover had shrunk to 6.5 million ha, revealing approximately 2.5 million ha forest loss due to various activities
“This is the product of years of degradation, deforestation, ineffective afforestation and inaction,” Honourable Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, remarked at the launch of Green Ghana Day in 2021.
In 2017, the IUCN launched its Bonn Challenge Barometer, a tool to assist pledgers in meeting the critical need to assess and report on the implementation of national and subnational Forest Landscape Restoration pledges.
In a bid to turn its fortune around, the West African country became one of the first countries to adopt the Restoration Barometer tool in 2018, as one of nine African countries among an extra 13 countries implementing the tool.
One advanced technical planning tool being used is the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM). The ROAM tool fitted into the country’s forest restoration strategy embodied in a policy document, the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy developed in 2016 as part of its Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement and the REDD+ goals.
It will also allow countries to track progress against restoration commitments under the forthcoming post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework targets leaders will set at COP15.
Beyond restoration, the report also highlights the various benefits these restoration efforts bring for conservation and sustainable development which have been achieved due to the enabling policies, planning methods, and monitoring tools.
The IUCN’s Restoration Barometer report further details the beneficial impacts that restoration efforts are creating in the featured countries, including endangered species protection, the creation of 12 million jobs and sequestration of over 145 million tonnes of carbon.
Endorsed by over 50 governments, the Restoration Barometer is the only tool that that governments are already using to track restoration and its benefits across all terrestrial ecosystems, including coastal and inland waters, and to report on their commitments against global frameworks such as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, Bonn Challenge, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Coasts and mangroves, farmlands and mixed-used areas, forests and woodlands, grasslands, shrublands and savannahs, rivers, streams and lakes (wetlands), and urban areas have been reported as being under restoration in 2022 in Ghana.
The report identifies ten supportive policies in Ghana that are enabling restoration. They include the National Environmental Policy and Ghana Bamboo and Rattan Development Strategic Plan. It also highlights four restoration monitoring mechanisms that Ghana has in place, including the National Forest Monitoring System and the Ghana Climate Ambitious Reporting Programme.
2022 RESTORATION BAROMETER RESULTS – GHANA
2,000,000 hectares pledged for ecosystem restoration
USD$241,300,814 channelled for nature funding, including:
USD$49,762 from domestic philanthropic and non-profit
USD$43,035,381 from domestic public expenditure
USD$176,201,375 from international donor support
USD$22,014,296 from private investment (including microfinance and impact investments)
628,388 hectares currently under restoration
21,218,334 tonnes of CO2 (tCO2) sequestered through restoration
75,889 green jobs created through restoration efforts, including:
5,309 long-term jobs
66,572 short-term jobs
4,008 season, casual or occasional jobs
Three reported IUCN Red List species benefiting from restoration efforts:
Afromosia (Pericopsis elata)
Rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus)
This story was produced as part of the 2022 CBD COP15 Fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network.
By: Zubaida Mabuno Ismail / Ghana.