The Bui Power Authority (BPA), a power utility company has expanded its flagship Forest Resources Enhancement Programme (FREP) to about 1423 acres since 2020.
The FREP is being developed to promote reforestation/afforestation activities and conserve forest/Savannah woodlots within the Black Volta Basin and other BPA Operational areas.
More than 26 indigenous, economic, medicinal trees species including african, birch baobab, cassia, dawadawa, fig tree, mahogany, ebony, black plum, shea and kapok are being protected.
Mr Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, the Chief Executive Officer of BPA, speaking at COP 27 side event in Sharm El-Sheikh, in Egypt said the forest programme would help protect the Bui Dam reservoir that was being threatened by increase in temperature – a climate change impact.
The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly referred to as COP27, is the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference.
Mr Dzamesi explained that the rise in temperature by about one degree over decades causes surface water to evaporate rapidly, especially during the dry season but “the forest vegetation will slow down the rate of evaporation down so there will be water to generate power.”
He said the project would help create carbon sinks to remove ‘bad air’ and build climate change resilience to improve precipitation and microclimate that was tied in to Ghana’s climate plan.
The programme, the Chief Executive Officer said would also help control and protect the reservoir shoreline against soil erosion, siltation, sedimentation and depletion of vegetative cover within the Black Volta basin.
He stated that BPA was committed to supporting Ghana to achieve Energy Transition to Net Zero Emission and the Nationally Determined Contributions to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the impact of climate change.
Mr Dzamesi emphasised that climate crisis was undeniable, and said the BPA was embarking on initiatives under it 2020 expanded mandate to develop Renewable & Clean Energy Resources.
Some of the initiatives include the 50 Megawatt peak Solar Plant with another 200 Megawatt peak under installation at Bui and Yendi, a 45Kilowatt Micro Hydropower Plant at Tsatsadu-Volta Region and a 75 Kilowatt plant to be added later.
He said the BPA was ready to partner donor Agencies to raise the needed funding to expand the rollout of renewable energy projects.