Forestry Commission To Launch The 2nd National REDD+ Forum

Ghana is likely to miss its cocoa production target for the 2017-2018 crop season if the weather forecast is anything to go by.

Meeting this goal, however, would require an increase in production, which also means further degradation of the nation’s forest cover to make way for cocoa trees.

Giving the fast depleting Ozone layer due to deforestation and the talk of climate change, the Forestry Commission of Ghana will kick start a program christened, ‘REDD+’, to help achieve the 1.5 million metric tonnes target of government and also preserve the forest and its habitat.

Speaking to the Head of the Climate Change Unit of the Forestry Commission, Yaw Kwakye, “REDD+ is part of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change which is aimed at curbing the fast changing atmospheric conditions. One big aspect of this convention has to do with forest degradation for activities such as cocoa farming”.

“…One of the many ways forests in Ghana get depleted is by methods through which cocoa farming has been done for years. We clear large tracts of forest land just to grow cocoa, thereby destroying plants and all other living things in the area since it can only grow in the tropics, especially, forest areas. And the practice of clearing and burning forest land to be replaced with cocoa has continued since the introduction of cocoa into Ghana, from the Akwapem Mountains through to other parts of the country. This tells us that there used to be forest anywhere we see a cocoa farm“.

And since cocoa has been the lifeline of the nation’s economy for decades and still remains so, Mr. Kwakye is of the conviction that Ghana requires a comprehensive approach to this problem which would help in achieving its targets in the cocoa sector and also leave the forest intact.

The REDD+ program which will be launched on 19th of October this year is expected to bring together all stake holders in the cocoa and forestry division, including, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation.

Others include, National House of Chiefs, COCOBOD and other NGOs.