Little Rock nonprofit Winrock International has helped to develop an emission reduction program in Ghana, allowing it to become part of the Carbon Fund portfolio of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility of the World Bank, according to a news release. As part of the Carbon Fund, Ghana can receive performance-based payments for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+).
Ghana is the second country to be included in the Carbon Fund on its first attempt, after Chile was accepted earlier this year. Winrock also supported Chile in becoming part of the Carbon Fund.
“Ghana’s determination to stem the rapid loss of our forest cover has received a major boost with the endorsements of our premier Emission Reduction Program by the Carbon Fund Participants,” said Yaw Kwakye, head of the Climate Change Unit, Ghana Forestry Commission/National Focal Point for REDD+. “This important milestone could not have been reached without the solid partnerships built and sustained over the years with key collaborators such as Winrock International.”
Ghana collaborated with various stakeholders including government, civil society organizations, traditional authorities and local communities to develop its Cocoa Forest REDD+ Program, said Kwame Agyei, a Ghana Forestry Commission REDD+ specialist. “The acceptance of Ghana’s program for receipt of performance-based REDD+ payments by the Carbon Fund therefore offers an important pathway for key stakeholders to collectively work toward reducing deforestation, enhancing environmental integrity and improving livelihoods of cocoa farmers and local communities in a gender-responsive manner.”
Since 2009, Winrock International and the Ghana Forestry Commission have offered technical support and guidance for Ghana to develop a subnational REDD+ program in its high forest zone where cocoa is grown. The Winrock team has helped to develop “a comprehensive forest reference level, including emissions from deforestation, legal and illegal logging, forest fires and wood fuel collection, as well as carbon dioxide removals from reforestation,” according to the release. “Winrock also supported the submission of a separate national reference level to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which included the same set of REDD+ activities.”
Winrock has also helped Ghana start an online data management system for collecting data and tracking emissions reductions. The Ghana Forestry Commission will use the database to keep records of key data on programs and environmental indicators.