Accra, June 13, GNA - Over 40 Experts from 12
Countries in Africa are in Ghana to participate in a learning event dubbed
South-south Knowledge Exchange on Country Approaches to Safeguards and
Safeguard Information System.
The two-day workshop aims to enhance the knowledge and capacity of the participants through sharing of experiences and lessons learned on meeting international safeguard requirements for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation(REDD+), particularly the design and development of Safeguards Information System.
Welcoming the participants, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey said although REDD+ promises to provide performance based financial incentives for developing countries, it could also be socially and environmentally “unfriendly” if the right safeguards measures are not in place.
He said defining appropriate social and environmental safeguards for a “do no harm” REDD+ implementation was central to the success and sustainability of any REDD+ Policies, Actions and Measures (PAMs).
The south-south knowledge exchange is hosted by the Forestry Commission of Ghana and organized by the UN-REDD Programme, together with SNV Netherlands Development Organization.
The event would draw from the varying experiences in REDD+ safeguards among participating countries as well as expertise from international facilitators from the UN-REDD Programme, the World Bank's Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
The objectives of the workshop include: sharing of experiences and lessons learned from the Africa region with broader perspectives and potential solutions in developing country approaches to REDD+ Safeguards implementation.
Mr Allottey, whose speech was read on his behalf by Dr Ben Donkor, Executive Director of the Timber Development Division, said in the absence of safeguards ‘we might be increasing forest cover at the expense of precious livelihoods, cultural values and environmental integrity.’
He said Ghana was confident that with sustained political support, increased sectoral collaboration and coordination, and adequate financial incentives, Africa’s desire to use the REDD+ mechanism to curb deforestation and forest degradation while improving the livelihoods of its population will be met.
The international community appreciates the climate regulating role of forest and has created the REDD+ mechanism, which aims to reduce tropical deforestation and forest degradation as well as promoting conservation and sustainable management of forests and carbon stocks.
About 64 developing nations are currently developing and implementing REDD+ strategies.
Degradation (REDD+) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are expected to address and respect a set of seven (environmental, social and governance related safeguards in the implementation of REDD+ actions.
In addition, countries should have in place, safeguards information system (SIS) providing information on how all the safeguards are addressed and respected.