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Regional News of Monday, 20 July 2015

Source: GNA

Participants commend GII for initiating the MSP REDD+ project

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) community Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) project for effective implementation of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) activities in Ghana, has been lauded at Nkoranza in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The commendation was made by participants during a forum at a day’s workshop for establishment of community MSP for successful execution of REDD+ activities in the country.

The programme, the sixth at District level since 2014, was organized by the GII, a local chapter of Transparency International (TI), and funded by the European Union (EU) through TI Secretariat in Berlin.

Sixty participants selected from six communities in the Nkoranza South Municipality and the Nkoranza North District in the Region attended.

They comprised traditional rulers, forestry officers, fire service personnel, farmers, charcoal burners, representatives of Federation of Persons with Disabilities, Assembly and Unit Committee members, opinion leaders and members of social clubs.

The workshop created the opportunity for various stakeholders to deliberate on policies and decisions on REDD+ activities and to build capacity of community members in holding public officials accountable with respect to effective implementation of policies, laws, bye-laws, rules and regulations to reduce the impact of climate change.

It was also a means to use and promote “social accountability tools” (bodies like social auditing clubs who dedicate their times in monitoring REDD+ projects and forest management activities) in climate change mitigation.

The participants expressed varied opinions to justify the need for all stakeholders to contribute for the project’s success.

Mr. Michael Okai, Climate Change Finance Project Coordinator at GII in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) explained that “the project has an overall objective of improving anti-corruption policy and practice in REDD+ finance and governance in Africa”.

Mr. Okai added “it directly seeks to contribute to a society where citizens are successfully engaging and demanding accountability in REDD+ forest finance and governance, and where REDD+ and forest governance policies and practices are more preventative against corruption, promotes transparency and accountability at all levels”.

He noted that the project would ensure the more efficient use of public resources, to ultimately contribute towards helping to reduce illegal deforestation and degradation, curb climate change impacts and enhance gender sensitive sustainable development