Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has held talks with managers of Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Bonn, Germany for funds to Ghana to implement her Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The Minister led a team of Ghanaian delegates that attended the UN Conference of Parties (COP23) on Climate change to hold the talks with Mr Howard Bamsey, Executive Director of Green Climate Fund (GCF) at a short ceremony at Bonn in Germany during the just ended COP23 on Friday, November 17.
Mr Bamsey, heads the GCF Secretariat, which was established in Songdo, Republic of Korea, in 2013 to serve the GCF Board.
The GCF was formally established in 2010 to contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by financing climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives in developing countries.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng told the GCF manager that the climate change impacts situation in Africa, was frightening coupled with activities of some of its people, especially headers that continue to displace farmers with their herds of cattle that continue to destroy many of the farmlands, making the farmers abandon their lands and go into illegal mining, was disturbing.
He said about five per cent of Ghana’s surface area had been lost through illegal mining, noting that: “we are in a situation that is frightening, loss of vegetation. We need to start doing something about land degradation, we need to do something about soil erosion, restoration of our water bodies and then the sustainable land and water management programme, especially in the northern
part of our country”.
The Minister said Ghana like its counterparts in West Africa needed help to restore the lands, replenish the forests, and also to do alternative livelihoods so that people could do other things apart from the herding that they are doing”
Mr Peter Dery, Head of Climate Change Unit at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said Ghana had prepared and developed five different projects out of its NDCs, and had sent three of them to the GCF secretariat since July for advice and inputs so it could finalise and tender them for the funds.
He mentioned some of the developed projects as accelerated solar action programme, Forestry and REDD+ programme, as well as agriculture, renewable energy, alternative livelihoods and resilient landscape project that were all waiting to be sourced and financed to be implemented in the country.
He said Ghana would need about 26 million dollars to implement and achieve its NDCs.
Mr Bamsey, on his part told the Ghanaian team that: “This kind of meeting is what is being looked for at the COP”.
He said the GCF usually take close to two years to assess and grant funds for financing a climate mitigation and adaptation project, but the secretariat was now working to shorten the process to six months.
He said the GCF had decided to give priority to African programmes, especially that of Ghana’s which met the criteria and selection programmes under the Fund, adding that, “Africa seem to be well organised”.
Meanwhile, Prof Frimpong-Boateng in an interview with the GNA in Bonn, described COP23 as the biggest COP and that the Ghanaian delegation and the media representatives, made up of the Ghana News Agency, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Radio and Daily Graphic reporters who attended COP23, had done tremendously well, by transmitting the news on conference back to Ghana to inform the citizenry.
He said Ghana’s delegation needed to prepare very well before attending such meetings as well as meet regularly after the COP to access and monitor and evaluate what had been done so far and work throughout the year so that at the next COP “ we will be able to present something that is coherent and gain something for Ghana.
“After all we are here because of our country. The climate is being destroyed not because of our own activities, but the activities of rich countries and therefore we need them to help us. We are not coming here to beg, this is the agreement that we have signed with them and we need their help.