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Press Release
Posted: 18 May 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FORESTRY COMMISSION PARTNERS FORM GHANA TO HOST INTERNATIONAL WORKING CONFERENCE ON “FORESTS FOR THE FUTURE – NEW FORESTS FOR AFRICA”, 16TH – 17TH MARCH, 2016, ACCRA.

The Forestry Commission in close collaboration with Form Ghana and Nyenrode Business University of the Netherlands will host the first international working conference on the opportunities for forest plantation development in Africa from 16th -17th March, 2016.

Background

It has been established worldwide that deforestation and forest degradation contribute significantly to climate change and loss of natural habitat and biodiversity. Between the year 2000 and 2010, 13 million hectares of forest was reported converted or lost annually globally (FAO, Forest Resources Assessment, 2010). Africa is one of the continents with the highest reported net loss, losing an estimated 3.4 million hectares of forest annually. This alarming rate of deforestation calls for an urgent need to take steps to address the drivers of deforestation and to restore degraded forest landscapes through the creation of “new forests”.

During the Global Landscape Forum at the Conference of Parties (CoP 21) of the United Nations, in Paris December 2015, African countries and development partners launched the African Forest Restoration Initiative (AFR 100), a Pan-African country-led effort to restore 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2030. At the launch, 10 African countries committed to restore a total of 31.7 million hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes. More African countries have made commitments since then. AFR100 partners are earmarking more than USD$1Billion in development finance and more than $540 million in private sector impact investment to support restoration activities.

International Working Conference on New Forests For Africa

Sequel to the launch of AFR100 and commitments made by African countries to restore degraded forests in Africa, the Forestry Commission, Ghana, in close collaboration with Form International, Form Ghana and Nyenrode Business University of the Netherlands, are organizing a working conference aimed at sharing knowledge of successful plantation projects and to look at the way forward in approaching reforestation/landscape restoration in Africa. This conference is expected to attract between 100 – 150 local and international delegates from all over the world, representing the financial and forestry sectors as well as other sectors. Participation is however, strictly by invitation.

Objectives

The objectives of this working conference, among others are to:

a. Set an international agenda on the need to create new forests in Africa;
b. Elaborate the business aspect of reforestation by demonstrating successful large scale reforestation projects on degraded lands and forest reserves;
c. Bring together plantation companies, high profile international investors and other stakeholders in order to bridge the gap between financiers and companies interested in plantation development; and
d. Showcase existing possibilities for sourcing sustainably produced timber.

The keynote for this international working conference, “Forests for the Future – New Forests for Africa”, will be delivered by Hon. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General. This conference will also attract seasoned speakers who will give participants in-depth information on forest plantation development and landscape restoration. Speakers at this conference will include:

 Honourable Kofi Annan, Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation and former UN Secretary General and Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation;
 H.E. John A. Kufuor, former President of the Republic of Ghana and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change;
 Hon. Nii Osah Mills, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana;
 Hon. Mahama Ayariga, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana;
 Mr. Samuel Afari Dartey, Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, Ghana;
 Daasebre Dr. Nana Amankona Diawuo II, Omanhene of Brekum Traditional Council, Brong Ahafo, Ghana;
 Hugh C.A Brown, Director of Plantations, Forest Services Division, Forestry Commission, Ghana;
 Sean DeWitt, Director of Global Restoration Initiative, World Resources Institute, U.S.A.;
 Paul Hol, Executive Director, Form International, Netherlands;
 Hans Lemm, General Manager, Kilombero Valley Teak Company, Tanzania.

Expected Outputs

1. A conference declaration and a special declaration on reforestation signed by the top ten forest plantation companies in Africa.
2. Delegates will get in-depth understanding of key road blocks obstructing the development of plantations in Africa and gain insights into solutions for overcoming those road blocks.

Issued by the
Corporate Affairs & Media Relations Unit
Forestry Commission
22nd February, 2016

For further information, contact:
The Corporate Affairs & Media Relations Unit,
Forestry Commission, Accra.
Tel: 233 (0) 302 401 210233/ (0) 302 401 210
Email: jokwafo@fcghana.org/media@newforestsforafrica.org
Website: www.fcghana.org

 

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