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Bui Power Authority applauded at COP27 for its Forest Resources Enhancement Program

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By Dominic Hlordzi

The Bui Power Authority (BPA) was commended at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, on its expanded flagship Forest Resources Enhancement Programme (FREP).

The programme is designed to promote reforestation/afforestation activities and Conservation of the Gallery Forest /Savannah woodlots within the Black Volta Basin and other BPA Operational areas.

This is to curtail evaporation, overexploitation of forest resources, and climate change impacts.

Speaking at COP 27 side event in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on behalf of Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, the Chief Executive Officer of BPA, Deputy Director, Occupational Health, Safety, and Environment, Chrisentus B. Kuunifaa, said the program was expanded to cover about 1,423 acres of land in 2022.

The FREP creates carbon sinks to mitigate GHG emissions, controls and protect the reservoir shoreline against soil erosion, siltation, sedimentation, and depletion of vegetative cover within the Black Volta basin.

It enhances sustainable utilisation of forest resources within Black Volta basin and the Acquired Land in terms of medicinal use, commercial timber and fuel wood and builds climate change resilience to improve precipitation, microclimate, provide wind breaks, etc.

About 26 indigenous, economic, medicinal tree species, including birch, baobab, cassia, fig tree, ebony, black plum, shea, dawadawa, mahogany and kapok are being protected under the programme.

Mr. Kuunifaa mentioned as the following as key Initiatives successfully undertaken.

  • Silvicultural practices within the established plantations.
  • Bushfire control within the Plantations and Gallery Forest.
  • Protection of the Gallery Forest around the Dam enclave and within the Black Volta Basin
  • Identification of all indigenous tree species within the Enclave for preservation and
  • Formulation of a Policy to Protect some 26 Indigenous Economic Tree Species within the Bui Enclave

On benefits, Mr. Kuunifaa stated that the forest being created under Programme is protecting Bui Lake against soil erosion, reservoir siltation, and sedimentation.

“This will prolong the life span of the lake to sustain socio-economic activities including clean electricity generation, fishery, tourism, agriculture and water supply.” He assured.

The programme, he noted, also creates job opportunities, recreation as well as provides habitat for a diversity of flora and fauna.

Mr. Kuunifaa pledged BPA’s commitment to supporting Ghana to achieve Energy Transition to Net Zero Emission and Nationally Determined Contributions.

The Authority, therefore, looks for donor partners to raise the needed funds in achieving its goals under the FREP and the general climate change goals.

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