The Executive Director of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Mr Olivier Langrand, has called on the government to increase its budgetary allocation for biodiversity conservation.
According to him, Ghana was a signatory to international treaties and conventions such as the Biodiversity Agenda and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), hence the need to be committed to it.
“We cannot just be signatory to all the agreements and attend all the conferences and not back this with budgetary and financial provisions for actions on the ground,” he said.
He made the call at a press conference at a four-day final assessment workshop in Accra.
Mr Langrand noted that the government’s allocation to the management of forests and parks was often not enough adding that “forests have multiple benefits to the country, communities and people living along it and either mining or declassification of the Atewa andAchimota forests were going to be a major loss in terms of biodiversity and contribute to increase in the impact of climate change.
“Forests have multiple advantages providing a lot of benefits to the country, the people living along the communities around the forests, developments in forest for profit is a very big mistake,” Mr Langrand cautioned.
He explained that nature-based solution was to answer 30 per cent of the climate change situation so using nature to address climate change was advisable that the country would be shooting itself in the foot if it let go of forests.
Mr Langrand urged the government to explore the possibility of transforming its debts into funding that could be invested into nature, because most countries had done so and it was left with Ghana to take advantage of such an opportunity.
The Grants Director for the Guinean Forests of West Africa Hotspots, PeggyPoncelet, revealed that her outfit had so far given out 78 grants totalling $10.1 million to 62 organisations within the Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity hotspot within the last six years.
She said 48 out of the 78 grants were local organisations within the hotspot covering nine priority corridors within the hotspot with 69 per cent of the projects in those areas.
The Small Grants Manager at Bird Life International, Ruth Akagu, indicated that her outfit was the Regional Implementing Team (RIT) for CEPF which works with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) which in turn works with various communities to improve on their livelihoods.
“The most important thing that came out of this six years for us is the fact that communities can experience from the funding gotten from CEPF,” she said.