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How easy (or hard) is it to use REDD? Forest Trends Shares One Story from Ghana

December 10, 2012 by

As part of our REDD (reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) Finance Tracking initiative, Forest Trends is documenting stories that demonstrate some of the problems with the way REDD finance is being distributed (or not).  A new story shows the difficulties one Ghanaian businessman, John Addaquay, faced when trying to use REDD to stop the cutting of trees.  It shows how frustrating it can be trying to use REDD funds to do good. An excerpt:

“Addaquay was invited to a REDD+ workshop that the Forestry Commission was holding at its headquarters in Accra. This workshop, he learned, was paid for by the “REDD Readiness Fund”, which is one of two funding mechanisms that had been set up by the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. The Readiness Fund had also paid for Ghana’s REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), a 60-page blueprint for building governance institutions in Ghana.

The workshop was part of the FCPF’s efforts to help the country implement the R-PP, and it’s there that he learned about the complexities of REDD+ and the challenges of measuring, verifying, and validating carbon sequestration. He also realized that his project provided exactly the kind of “learning by doing” opportunity that the Forestry Commission was looking to support.

As he moved further into the process, however, he found that such interest doesn’t always translate into funding. International donors like the World Bank and various national entities like the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), for example, each come with their own specific mandates, philosophies, and sets of restrictions that aren’t always designed to support pilot projects like his.

But even before he could even begin to contemplate international support, he had to face a more existential dilemma: his project as conceived was just too small for anyone to take seriously.”

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