The Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reductions Project has been launched to improve the lives of over 500,000 people, especially women in the Northern Savannah Zone of Ghana.
The landmark $54.5 million project, approved by the Green Climate Fund, aims at addressing the alarming deforestation and forest degradation challenges in the Northern Savannah Zone, whilst promoting investments in the shea value chain and women’s empowerment.
Speaking at the launch, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia highlighted the need to adopt nature-based solutions to address the impact of climate change and called on shea smallholder farmers and local communities in the northern savannah zone to support the implementation of the project to protect fragile ecosystems to improve livelihoods.
“The world is currently dealing with the impact of climate change, which is driving animals and plants to extinction. Therefore, as beneficiaries of this project, we must own it and contribute to its successful implementation”, noted H.E Dr Bawumia.
The Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ghana, Angela Lusigi, underscored the importance of reducing deforestation, forest degradation, and carbon emissions to help transform lives and protect the environment. She commended the government of Ghana for the bold climate action interventions.
“It is important to note that Ghana has moved beyond words to action. This large-scale investment by the Government of Ghana, the Global Climate Fund and the Private Sector is historic. It is a first of its kind intervention that exploits public, private, community partnerships to restore degraded savannah forests and strengthen livelihoods through enhanced ecosystem services with a new focus on the shea tree and its ecosystem for climate change mitigation”, added Ms. Lusigi.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, said his outfit had developed the necessary framework, including key stakeholder consultations, to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
On her part, the Italian Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Daniela d'Orlandi commended the efforts of partners to see the project take off and expressed the commitment of the Italian Government to support Ghana protect her forest ecosystem and improve livelihoods.
The seven-year project is being implemented by the Forestry Commission, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Shea Alliance and in partnerships with multiple national and local institutions, civil society organizations and private sector actors.