SCOPING STUDY OF FOREST CARBON PROJECT POTENTIAL IN GHANA
The main aims of the ROSE meeting were to explore and prioritise REDD project opportunities, and identify key constraints to cost-effective project development. This involved a systematic –’REDD project type’ analysis with the aim of identifying a balanced and strategic portfolio of project types in which the likelihood of project success is maximised from an early stage, and a brainstorm type exercise around key legal, policy and institutional constraints to effective and equitable REDD projects. Another aim was to promote national capacity in assessing the potential for REDD.
Approach and Methods
The ROSE meeting drew on an experienced and cross-sectoral –’expert group’ which collectively combines a strong knowledge of Ghana’s forests, deforestation and degradation (DD) drivers, legal, institutional and social issues, and the carbon market (see Annex 1 for list of participants). While the ROSE meeting was not a representative multiple stakeholder meeting, the following organisations or institutions participated: Forestry Commission (including Wildlife Division), Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD); Ministry of Food and Agriculture, University of Ghana (Land Resources Centre), Tropenbos, the Sustainable Tree Crops Programme (STCP) of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Civic Response, NCRC and CARE, as well as various consultants. Two of the participants were on the National REDD Steering Committee.
The main stages undertaken by the –’expert team’ were to:
–¢ Classify a set of potential REDD project types based on the forest ecosystem type, deforestation/degradation (DD) drivers and the tenure basis;
–¢ Agree on a set of criteria for –’successful’ REDD projects, focusing on economic and technical viability, as well as allowing for co-benefits and policy priorities;
–¢ Score the project types against the selected criteria;
–¢ Select high potential project types based both on the scores and a more qualitative analysis of key constraints;
–¢ Identify the main components, both in terms of projects and policies, of REDD responses to the DD process;
–¢ Undertake a brainstorm analysis of the legal and institutional gaps or issues which need to be tackled for REDD to move ahead for these project types, including an initial list of questions for clarification further research.
As in other countries, there is strong interest in Ghana by Government, NGOs and other stakeholders in developing Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) projects or demonstration activities. In developing a portfolio of REDD demonstration activities it is desirable that project selection be undertaken in a systematic as opposed to ad hoc way, resulting in a representative and balanced portfolio which is coherent with strategic and sectoral priorities. Given the high cost of developing REDD projects, including transaction and opportunity costs, it is also desirable to maximise cost-effectiveness.
The Katoomba Ecosystem Services Incubator (or â’Incubatorâ) was established by Forest Trends in 2007 to support community-based payments for ecosystem services (PES) initiatives. The Incubator focuses on community and biodiversity centred projects with the potential for long-term financial viability and poverty reduction benefits. It invests strategically in the project design and development phases by providing targeted technical, financial and business management support to enable projects to effectively engage private investors or buyers. It was first established in Latin America, where there are four projects in the Incubator portfolio, and it is now being extended to East and West Africa. Identification of potential projects for Incubator support are underway in Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Liberia. Establishing the Incubator in any country requires a careful project selection process, and we see this as the first step in a project selection or screening process.
Forest Trends is therefore developing a tool for classifying and prioritising potential REDD (or other forest carbon) projects. This tool can be applied before embarking on the costly process of pre-feasibility and feasibility analysis leading to a project design document (PDD). The tool involves a â’Project Type Analysisâ that considers the carbon market potential of different generic project types in Ghana. As part of the Incubator Scoping Study, we propose holding an â’Information Gathering Exerciseâ involving a small group of key informants or â’expert teamâ, to be held in Accra on Thursday and Friday 2nd and 3rd July.
The participants of the REDD Opportunities Scoping Exercise (ROSE), held at the Crystal Palm Hotel, Accra on the 1st and 2nd of July 2009, were:
- Andrew Agyare, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and Member of National REDD Steering Committee
- Baaba Amoah, Consultant attached to Land Resources Centre, University of Ghana
- Kingsley Amoako, Senior Agricultural Officer, Ministry of Food and Agriculture
- Alex Asare, Head, Collaborative Forest Management Unit, Resource Management Support Centre, Forestry Commission
- Richard Asare, Sustainable Tree Crops Programme (STCP), International Institute for Tropical Africa (IITA)
- Ulrich Bang, Sustainable Energy Advisor, CARE International, West Africa Regional Management Office
- Gene Birikorang, Consultant
- Saadia Bobtoya, NCRC (observer)
- David Kpelle, Consultant to Forestry Commission
- Hannah Murray, Forest Trends (study coordinator)
- Kwabena S. Nketiah, Programme Team Leader of Tropenbos Ghana Programme and Member of National REDD Steering Committee
- Eugene Ofon-Gyamfi, Manager (R&D), Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD)
- James Ohemeng, NCRC
- Yaw Osafo, Lawyer
- Joseph Osei, Consultant
- Saeed Abdul Razak, Civic Response/Forest Watch
- Michael Richards, Forest Trends (study coordinator) and consultant to World Bank supported REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) process
- Jenipher Seanedzu, NCRC (Observer)
- Victoria Wiafe, the IDL Group and consultant to World Bank supported REDD Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) process
DOWNLOAD: Final Report of the Key Informant Workshop, July 2009