By Mohammed Suleman
The campaign, which was launched in Accra on Saturday, aims at raising awareness among the youth, who are the future leaders of Ghana on the need to plant and nurture trees as one of the ways to mitigate climate change.
It seeks to further open their eyes on the importance of the REDD+ as a mechanism to reduce the devastating effects of climate change.
The event was preceded by a high-level consultative meeting for REDD+ Ambassadors held in Accra on Thursday under the auspices of the of the REDD Secretariat. That meeting was meant to engage high-level actors amongst the key stakeholder groups who will serve as ambassadors for Ghana’s Emission Reduction Programme (cocoa-forest REDD+ programme).
That meeting also brought together of representatives from farmer groups, financial institutions, creative industry, private sector, CSOs and traditional authorities to deliberate on how to “sell” the REDD+ Mechanism to their peers, emphasising on the need to adopt climate smart agricultural practices in their bid to combat climate change while enhancing their farming activities.
REDD+ is an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. The Plus sign (+) represents activities that offer co-benefits such as biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management and carbon stocks enhancement. REDD+ is an activity whose successful implementation will help reduce the impacts of climate change particularly in developing countries like Ghana.
A statement issued by the National REDD + Secretariat observed that Climate Change has become a worldwide phenomenon which is affecting all forms of human lives.
It said the major drivers of climate change are deforestation and forest degradation; burning of fossil fuels; improper land use; industrialisation; indiscriminate bush burning, among others. All these human-induced activities release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, thereby causing global warming which leads to climate change.
“In Ghana, climate change is manifested in high temperatures, indiscriminate rainfall patterns which have implications for food security,” it observes.
It noted that there have been several attempts to arrest climate change and its adverse effects worldwide but REDD+ has been recognized as an activity whose successful implementation will help reduce the impacts of climate change, particularly in developing countries like Ghana.
It said under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developed countries have committed to provide incentives to developing countries that have large tracts of forests to help them to expand, nurture and protect their forests.
That, the statement points out, will ensure that forests continue to play their natural roles which include absorption of excess carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere in order to prevent the dangerous warming of the earth which eventually leads to changes in climate.
The statement declared the intention of the National REDD + Secretariat of the Forestry Commission to organise the maiden REDD + Forum to climax activities aimed at sensitizing the Ghanaian populace and their seek buy –in for the REDD+ mechanism, all of which are attempts to put Ghana on a climate- resilient path.
The event, it said, would take place on Wednesday, November, 25 at the Accra International Conference Centre. The theme for the event is Conserving Our Forests For Better Lives And A Better Climate.
The keynote address for the event will be delivered by H.E Dr John Agyekum Kuffuor, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change.
The Paramount Chief of Assin Kushia and Co – Chair of the High Level Engagement Advisory Panel, Nana Prah Agyenseim, will launch Ghana’s National REDD+ Strategy while Mr. Ishmael Yamson, Chairman of Unilever Ghana, will chair the event.