Partnership Project
Partnership Project

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has commenced the implementation of a pilot project to address the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation in the country.

The project, dubbed: “Development Solutions Partnership (DSP),” is to promote the establishment of a long-term technical cooperation between Ghana and the Republic of South Korea on sustainable forest management.

The project, developed by the Forestry Commission, will initially focus on wildfire management through adaptive knowledge cross-fertilisation and transfer within the framework of technical cooperation for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr Louis Kuupen, the Assistant Resident Representative of the UNDP, at an inception meeting in Accra, said in the context of the SDGs, forests play an enormous role in the quest to transform the world.

The meeting was to introduce stakeholders to the project to get their inputs on the strategic approaches to successfully implement the project.

It is also to discuss longer term and broad stakeholder participation in the initiative and how similar initiatives in the forestry sector can be leveraged to achieve the long-term goal of sustainable management of the country’s forest resources.

Ghana’s promotion of technical cooperation and transfer of knowledge with South Korea within the context of the DSP is a successful response to the call for proposal, which was launched by the Seoul Policy Centre.

Mr Kuupen said forests supplied wild fruits, bush meat, mushrooms and snails, which contributed directly to SDG-2 on Zero Hunger and also the medicinal plants that forest supply contribute to SDG-3 on Good Health and Well-being of the people.

He said in terms of environmental benefits, forests provided shelter for terrestrial biodiversity in line with SDG-15 on Life on Land and finally forests were a natural means for carbon capture and storage, helping to stabilise the climate and contributing to SDG-13 on Climate Action.

He, however, said statistics available indicate that Ghana’s forests have seen significant deterioration, since the turn of the century, and between 1990 and 2010, she lost an average of 125,400 ha or 1.68 per cent per year.

Since then Ghana’s deforestation rate has been about two per cent per year, representing a loss of 65,000 ha of closed forest per year.

“We acknowledge that to reverse this trend, the Government of Ghana has put in place a series of plans and strategies to address key drivers of deforestation and mobilise partnerships to promote sustainable forestry management, and some significant achievements have been made,” Mr Kuupen said.

He said UNDP had recognised that those achievements faced potential and real risks of being derailed due to factors among which fire was significant.

Mr Kuupen said the ongoing and planned investments in forest restoration and protection clearly required effective management and control of fires to ensure the sustainability of forest management.

He said UNDP Ghana, with technical support of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre in South Korea, and with funding from the Government of South Korea, has extended the initiative to Ghana.

He said working on two parallel but closely linked workstreams of fire management and national awareness campaign, it was envisaged that lessons learnt from the initiative would be documented and shared with national and international forest sector actors.

He expressed the hope that the initiative would catalyse the needed technical and financial support for promoting sustainable forest management in the context of Ghana and South Korea’s commitment to achieving the SDGs.

Mr Hugh Brown, the Director of Operations in Charge of Planation, Forestry Services Division of the Forestry Commission, said the issues of sustainable forestry development was dear to the heart of management of the Commission.

He said the DSP project was a good initiative to collaborate with the South Korean to share their best practices with their Ghanaian counterparts on sustainable forest management, especially on wildfire.

He said the Commission was committed to the implementation of the project, since they also have some experiences to share in achieving the needed result.

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