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Over 20,000 Farmers in Cocoa Growing Areas to Benefit from a $4million World Bank Climate Finance Project

Over 20,000 farmers to benefit from a $4million dollar World Bank Climate Finance programme following an agreement signed with Solidaridad.

Over 20,000 farmers from 100 communities in cocoa growing areas are to benefit from a $4million dollar project. The project aimed at boosting social inclusion in these cocoa growing areas, will cover women, youth, migrant farmers, and persons with disabilities, who are engaged in climate action such tree planting and other climate enhancing practices. This is to ensure that they are fairly rewarded for undertaking activities that reduce carbon emissions.

The World Bank and Solidaridad West Africa (SWA) signed a grant agreement for the $4 million project as part of the Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Programme (GCRP).  The REDD+ programme is one of the programmes to fight climate change by reducing emissions. It is to discourage deforestation and forest degradation. Farmers whose farming practices align with the REDD+ agenda are identified and rewarded usually through farming implements, extension services, capacity building and other forms of benefits.

The GCRP is funded by one of the World Bank-managed funds called the Enhancing Access to Benefits while Lowering Emissions (EnABLE) Trust Fund, which promotes social inclusion and gender equality in climate finance. Ghana is the first country to receive an EnABLE grant to support Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in distributing benefits earned by communities for reducing emissions and generating high-integrity carbon credits.

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“This grant signing is a major milestone for amplifying the voices of Ghana’s most vulnerable groups, particularly women, in the climate change discourse,” said World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Robert R. Taliercio. “By partnering with organisations like Solidaridad West Africa that have deep roots in local communities, we can ensure equitable access to emissions reduction benefits in cocoa landscapes.”

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The project aims to build capacity by increasing the knowledge and skills of target groups to help them engage in the Emissions Reduction Programme (ERP). This includes developing communication toolkits to demystify ERP processes and benefit sharing, as well as training programmes to foster a deeper understanding of climate action policies. Additionally, the inclusion of these groups in REDD+ processes will foster inclusive dialogue and policy formulation.

The Forestry Commission, the lead implementer of the GCFRP in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board, is enthusiastic about the project’s potential to encourage more local communities in to adopt sustainable practices that will lead to more emission reductions, because such good practices will be rewarded under the GCFRP.

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The project will also support locally led, climate-resilient livelihoods, particularly for women, through the provision of seed grants and technical support. Additionally, it will promote the development of green infrastructure and climate-smart agricultural practices. Legal literacy on land rights, focusing on the new provisions in Ghana’s 2020 Land Act, is another crucial aspect of the project, essential for ensuring women’s participation in REDD+ programmes that require access to land.

“The future of Ghana’s forests is at the crossroads, and the EnABLE project is coming at a critical time when the country is entrenching its access to the carbon market. Solidaridad is proud to be associated with the project to secure the inclusion of farmers and other local community groups in decision-making and the protection of forests so they can share in the associated carbon benefits that accrue from their efforts,” said Isaac Kwadwo Gyamfi, Regional Director for Solidaridad West Africa.

The project will be jointly implemented by Solidaridad West Africa (SWA) and Tropenbos Ghana.

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