Cote d'Ivoire: Ghana to restore degraded forest areas with US$24m AfDB loan

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (PANA) - The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Climate Investment Funds'  Forest Investment Programme (CIF FIP) have signed a US $24 million loan agreement with Form Ghana Ltd. to commence an innovative project on public-private partnership for the restoration of degraded forest areas in Ghana.

Form Ghana Ltd., a forest plantation management company that contributes to large-scale reforestation of degraded forest areas in the West African country, was engaged by AfDB, FIP and the Government of Ghana to undertake this innovative public-private partnership (PPP) project in its forest sector.

Approved in September 2016, the project will be backed by a US $10-million concessional loan from the FIP and supplemented by US $14 million in co-financing from the AfDB, said a statement issued by the Bank in Abidjan on Tuesday.

The project is Ghana’s first forest sector PPP due to a tripartite Benefit Sharing Agreement signed between the Government through the Forestry Commission of Ghana with Form Ghana acting as project sponsor and traditional land owners.

Ghana’s forests, which once covered a third of its 24-million-hectare landmass, have been degraded at an alarming rate by excessive and often illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, mining and quarrying, and fuelwood collection.

According to the AfDB, the project aims to reverse this trend by restoring and expanding an existing 5,000 ha forest plantation to nearly 12,000 ha of sustainable commercial forest plantation made up of 10% indigenous tree species and 90% teak.

Importantly, the programme will conform to both Forest Stewardship Council and Verified Carbon Standard certification standards, the Bank noted.

“As a premier development partner for Africa’s forest-rich countries, we feel it is incumbent on us to help establish pathways for partnerships with innovative private investors to revitalize the forest sector at the nexus of climate change and development," said AfDB’s Director of Climate Change and Green Growth, Anthony Nyong.

"Africa’s forests are important gateways to green growth and sustainability, potentially providing both sustainable livelihoods and carbon sinks. Today’s loan agreement helps pave that pathway for Africa.”

The project is designed to support a new business model that will serve as an example to other investors, producing wood products which have the quality and sustainability stamp that will help meet increasing market demand while avoiding pressure on natural forests.

“Today’s loan agreement signs into action the Bank’s first-ever private sector project in Ghana’s critical forest sector, and we applaud the Government of Ghana and its partner Form Ghana Ltd. for leading the way,” stated Leandro Azevedo, AfDB’s Senior Climate Finance Officer and project co-task manager.
-0- PANA AR 7March2017

07 march 2017 17:21:35

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