Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ghana Kick-starts Validation of Climate Change Policy Framework

The government of Ghana has started a nationwide validation of a draft climate change policy document to support the formulation of climate resilient policies and programmes to enable the state to adjust to cope with the challenges and impacts of climate change and global warming on development.
The National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) is to provide strategic direction and co-ordinate issues of climate change in Ghana. The NCCP surpasses ‘traditional’ climate change policy areas of adaptation and mitigation. It emphasises that social development is vital for, and cuts across, both of these areas.
The Director of the Ministry of Environement, Science, and Technology Mr. Fredua Agyeman said that the document after the validation would be laid before parliament for approval and adoption to become a national working document.
At a validation workshop organised for civil society organisations in Accra, the Director of MEST said that, the validation would ensure that the document was widely accepted by Ghanaians.
The Director who was addressing civil socieity organisation on behalf of the sector Minister Madam Sherry Ayittey pointed out that climate change which is a threat to livelihood affects Ghana’s economic performance and development prospects.
“Ghana’s climate is changing as a result of increased global emissions of greenhouse gases, with rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, floods and more weather extremes”, he said.
Africa the minister said is currently, faced with challenges of floods, and droughts that have affected thousands of peole socially, economically and development.
Climate change the minister said is now everybody’s business, and stakeholders need to be part in developing a National Climate Change Policy Framework (NCCPF) to ensure a climate resilient and climate compatible economy while achieving sustainable development and equitable low carbon economic growth for Ghana.
“The impact of climate change spans so many sectors, from agriculture to forests, and from health to social protection. Its impact on any or all of these poses a serious threat to our progress on the Millennium Development Goals and to our plans to become a middle income country. That is why we need a harmonised and coordinated climate change response”.
Mr. Agyeman explained that MEST exists to establish a strong national scientific and technological base for accelerated sustainable development of the country to enhance the quality of life for all and that the overall objective of MEST is to ensure accelerated socio-economic development of the nation through the formulation of sound policies and a regulatory frame work to promote the use of appropriate environmentally friendly, scientific and technological practices and techniques hence the climate change policy framework to help Ghana cope with the effects of climate change and its emerging issues.
The Director who acknowledged the complexity of climate change urged the campaigners to break down terminologies involved to the understanding of ordinary person whose life is most affected by the changes for adaptation process.
The He observed that, the recurring floods in parts of the country had cost the country millions of cedis in reconstruction, repairs and relief items. The floods which she blamed on the indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste that choked the major water run-ways also cost Ghana millions of cedis to resettle flood displaced people in Accra.
The government of Ghana spent closed to 62 billion old Ghana cedis on floods relief victims in the northern sector, central and western regions for the past three years. Ghana has had her fair share of the harsh climate effects and could not wait to manage disasters anymore but takes proactive measurse to avoid them hence the national climate change policy framework.
The Director thanked Care international for supporting the country to draft a climate change policy document saying “climate change is a development issues and should be tackled devoid of politization” to help the country cope with natural and man-made disasters.
Professor, Chris Gordon, Dr. Adelina Mensah and Dr. Elaine T. Mensah from the university of Ghana, Legon are leading the validation process.
Some of the participants in an interview after the programme indicated that the effects of climate change on national economy too devastating to wait. They commended the government for taken steps to have a national climate change policy.
Therefore however urged the government to involve civil society organisations in the implementation of the policy framework for effective result. Over fifty civil society organisations across the country participated in the validation process. The government would also be meeting with chiefs, women’s and youth groups, and other stakeholders before the document is placed before parliament.

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