Scoping for Forest Investment Program

The objective of the IFC component of the Forest Investment Program (FIP) for Ghana is to build private sector engagement in REDD+ and climate compatible projects/investments, promoting sustainable agriculture, forestry and related industries and resulting in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as economic growth. IFC supports this through a combination of Investment and Advisory Services.

The primary objective of the work is to assess the private sector’s need for finance to support REDD+ projects in the context of FIP Ghana. Identifying potential candidate businesses that could be supported directly by IFC investment or indirectly by IFC investment through financial intermediaries; and identify advisory projects complimentary to either of the above forms of IFC investment that would help the client and/or sector at large to build capacity on REDD+.

LTS is conducting market research in the terms of financial needs, through a combination of desk, web research, phone and face to face interviews with relevant private sector actors in Ghana. These includes, but should not necessarily be limited to; the timber and forestry sector (natural forest management, plantations, wood processing and related manufacturing), agriculture (particularly cocoa and oil palm).

Subject to volume of opportunities identified, scope should be expanded to research other sectors: wood for energy (charcoal, cooking stoves), sustainable NTFPs (Non Timber Forest Products), mining, tourism, technology (telecoms, remote sensing). LTS will also conduct an analysis of the overlap and/or gaps between FIP and REDD+ criteria and the criteria for IFC investments through analysis of the information from the market research, information on FIP and IFC processes through interviews with key IFC Investment and Advisory staff.

LTS has conducted initial meetings with potential financial intermediaries (principally banks) to assess current activity in the relevant sectors and obtain banks’ perspectives on developing and/or growing REDD+ investment.

IFC will host a workshop (either mid-way through the market research or towards the end) with selected financial intermediaries to present preliminary results and discuss the interest of financial intermediaries in an investment relationship with IFC in the context of FIP Ghana.

Image Credit: ARC – The Alliance of Religions and Conservation

Development of Forest Investment Strategy

The Government of Ghana was selected as a pilot country for the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) under the Climate Investment Fund and is preparing its forest sector investment strategy for FIP funding. LTS prepared a brief assessment of lessons learned from previous and ongoing projects and programmes in the forest and land use sectors in Ghana for incorporation into the design of the proposed FIP investment; conducted a series of consultative meetings and workshops with key stakeholders activities including, but not limited to, civil society, private sector, local, regional and national government representatives, developmental partners and the FIP Mission in support of the FIP investment strategy preparation activities; and participated in and contributing technically to the preparation of the Ghana FIP Investment Strategy which should cover the following areas:

  • Institutional capacity, forest governance and other information such as: implementation of systems for forest resource monitoring; information management and resource inventory; forest law enforcement; land and tree tenure reform; forest management; building capacities of local communities;
  • Investments for the implementation of Ghana’s REDD+ strategy to result in innovative and replicable transformational approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation;
  • Investments in forest mitigation measures including forest ecosystem services such as forest conservation; promotion of payments for environmental services to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services equitable benefit-sharing arrangements; restoration and sustainable management of degraded forests and landscapes; afforestation and reforestation on previously degraded land; restructuring of forest industries and promotion of company and community partnership; forest protection measures; improved land management practices; promotion of forest and chain of custody certification;
  • Investments outside the forest sector necessary to reduce the pressure on forests such as: alternative livelihood and poverty reduction opportunities for forest dependent communities; alternative energy programs; agricultural investments in the context of rationalized land use planning; agricultural intensification including agro-forestry; regularly advising the MDBs (AfDB and the World Bank Group) on progress particularly on issues relating to preparation of the investment strategy with monthly operational reports.
  • Participating in and contribute to the preparation of the Joint Mission Aide Memoire and any other documents and updating the MDBs, on a timely basis, on the progress in the preparation of the FIP Investment Strategy documentation.

Achieving Triple Wins: Identifying Climate Smart Investment Strategies for the Coastal Zone

Climate change is affecting developing countries and in most littoral states it is altering the structure and function of coastal areas. In this context national policy makers have to make choices about which development, adaptation and mitigation activities to prioritise and pursue to ensure that impacts and losses are minimised. Despite a need for clarity on the most and least desirable development strategies in the coastal zone, much of the literature on adaptation and mitigation in developing countries has ignored the opportunities and challenges of delivery in coastal areas.

LTS was part of an international team of researchers that were seeking to present the potential co-benefits (and possible damages) from actions that deliver adaptation and mitigation through detailed case studies, supported by a set of policy briefs for national coastal managers, in order to establish an outline proposal for funds to develop an investment planning toolkit. Our focus was on tropical coastal areas in developing countries, particularly those at risk from sea level rise and changes in tropical cyclone intensity. LTS was leading the Kenyan case study for this research, focusing on extractive forestry as a sector with potential to support both adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Our partners in this project were Southampton University, WWF Caribbean, University of Ghana and the Government of Vietnam.

West Africa Forest Strategy

The Upper Guinea High Forest in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Ghana represents a diversity of ecosystems made up of savannas, semi-deciduous tropical forests and tropical rain forests. Loss of forest cover and degradation of forested land continues at a rapid pace. The West African Forest Strategy (WAFS) formulation process required an assessment of the sector to provide the World Bank with strategic direction aimed at creating a sustainable and productive forestry sector that fuels growth. The WAFS contributed to the fine tuning of a wider African Forestry Strategy and assisted the World Bank in consolidating its support to forestry in the region and aimed to provide a more systematic engagement on forestry issues at a regional level. LTS undertook a forest sector analysis using a gap model framework, a policy options analysis and developed the strategy and financing instruments. Please click here to read the report.

Capacity Building of Timber Validation Department, Voluntary Partnership Agreement

The 2003 EU FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) Action Plan was negotiated and implemented using Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs, bilateral agreements between the EU and countries exporting timber into the EU). VPAs included Legality Assurance Systems (LAS) to ensure that timber destined for the EU markets is produced in accordance with legislation of the FLEGT partner countries. The Government of Ghana and the EU signed the world’s first VPA in November 2009. Ghana’s LAS has five elements: (i) a legality standard; (ii) verification of compliance with the standard; (iii) a national wood tracking system; (iv) issuance of FLEGT licences; and (v) independent audit of the LAS implementation.


A Timber Verification Department (TVD) has been established within the Forestry Commission to verify adherence to the LAS requirements, further staff have been recruited (data management and field teams) and a draft Timber Legality Audit and verification manual has been prepared. The TVD required capacity-building to ramp-up its operations to support credible licensing of FLEGT timber into the EU.


This assignment provided the Ghana Forestry Commission’s Timber Validation Department with assistance in developing verification practices that align with the principles set out in the VPA, in particular relating to verification against the legality standard and data management/analysis for the wood tracking system.

Voluntary Partnership Agreement – Legality Assurance Systems and European Union Green Public Procurement

The 2003 EU FLEGT Action Plan aimed at tackling illegal logging and the trade in associated products, recognising the EU as a consumer of timber from regions where levels of illegality and poor governance in the forest sector are serious. A cornerstone of this Plan is the negotiation and implementation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA): bilateral agreements between the EU and timber product exporting partner countries to trade only in legal wood. The VPA contains a Legality Assurance System (LAS), a mechanism that allows a FLEGT partner country to verify that timber produced has complied with all prescribed regulations. A LAS is based on the national legislation stipulating the economic, environmental and social regulatory framework for forest management, processing of timber and trade in timber products.

The objective of this assignment was to assess the extent to which the first FLEGT VPA and Legality Assurance System (LAS) designs (in Ghana, Cameroon, R.O. Congo and Indonesia) would, when implemented, meet the requirements of existing and planned EU Member State procurement policies for relevant product groups, and further outline the relationship of LAS and procurement policies in general.

Studying these first cases provided further understanding on the overall fit between the VPA and its associated LAS and the policies in the EU guiding the procurement of timber.

European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Facility

LTS was involved in 5 frameworks agreements: Forest Governance; Capacity Building; Markets and Demand Side Measures; Legality Assurance Systems; and Monitoring Voluntary Partnerships Agreement (VPA) Impacts. The European Forest Institute’s EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Facility has been established to support the European Commission in implementing their Action Plan for FLEGT setting out a range of measures available to the European Union and its Member States to tackle illegal logging in the world’s forests.

Protected Areas Development Programme: Phase II


The prime objective of the Protected Areas Development Programme (Phase II) was to enhance the conservation of biodiversity heritage in Ankasa and Bia Conservation Areas, as well as the Krokosua Hill Forest Reserve which is a designated Globally Significant Biodiversity Area.    

PADP II consolidated and extend the on- and off-reserve achievements of its predecessor (PADP I), in particular securing long-term management prospects for the focal protected areas. This was achieved mainly through further improving the conservation and management capacity of the Wildlife Division of the Ghana Forestry Commission, and by complementing park infrastructures for administration and tourism. Off-reserve conservation centred on expansion of the participatory concepts developed during the first phase to a wider surrounding area. Programme support for eco-tourism development and income generating activities contributed to reduced poverty in adjacent rural communities.

Phase II was primarily an institutional strengthening intervention, with emphasis on building the capacity of existing local institutions and personnel, and enhancing the effectiveness of existing infrastructure. The approach involved the project playing a catalytic role to enable the Wildlife Division and other sectoral stakeholders to build sustainable management capacity, rather than simply providing a vehicle for implementing activities.

Research and Advocacy Programme

LTS provided programme management services under the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (GRAP) – a pooled donor funding mechanism for supporting the institutional development of Research and Advocacy Organisations (RAOs) in Ghana. GRAP offered multi-annual grants to a group of the most established RAOs, selected on a competitive basis. The purpose of GRAP was to enhance the capacity of RAOs to carry out evidence-based research on economic, social, political and security issues, and to make an autonomous contribution to the policy process through dissemination of research, advocacy and coalition building. LTS managed the grant application procedure and brokerage of Partnership and Institutional Grant Arrangements, monitoring and assessment of RAO compliance with grant provisions, and audit services.

Evaluation of the Department for International Development’s Ten Year Renewable Natural Resources Research Programme

LTS, in collaboration with the Oxford Policy Management Institute and the Norwegian Agricultural University, was selected to conduct an evaluation of DFID’s ten year Renewable Natural Resources Research Programme. This evaluation constituted an important opportunity to reassess and redirect DFID’s RNRR programme and strategy within the context of DFID’s agenda and priorities as stated in DFID’s Research Funding Framework for 2005 to 2007 (final draft/May 2004). Our methodology was process based and designed to identify the impact of the Renewable Natural Resources Strategy on all its stakeholders, across the different disciplines and at practice and policy levels. We identified key components of the research programmes that impact on poverty. Participatory methodologies were used to ensure attribution of impacts to different stakeholders and draw together the lessons learnt from all components and relate them to the different stakeholders’ interests.
Image credit: ONE DROP