It’s time to act on climate change plans – Panellists

By Yaw Ansah/Priscilla N. Nkruman, GNA 

Accra, Oct. 25, GNA – Panellists at a forum on
Climate Change Adaptation in Ghana want authorities to start translating
policies into concrete initiatives to ameliorate some of the climate
vulnerability effects.

While commending successive governments for
instituting enough policies, they recommend that institutions of the state,
especially the Ghana Meteorological Agency, needs to be strengthened,
well-synchronised and resourced to lead the implementation of policy
actions.

The panellists urged the Government to, as a
matter of urgency, commit a sustainable funding to conducting research into the
subject as donor funding agencies’ support was inadequate.

The forum, held in Accra, also served as a
dissemination of findings of a survey on: “Leveraging Public Participation to
Build a Climate Resilient Future.”

It was organised by the Institute of
Green Growth Solutions (IGGS), with funding from Kornrad Adenauer
Stiftung (KAS).

Dr Daniel Benfor, a Climate Change Expert
at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sharing perspectives, explained
that changes in weather patterns had a great impact on the country’s economic
gains.

More than 60 per cent of the working
class, he said, derived their livelihoods from businesses that depended on
natural resources to survive while the nation derived majority of its
export earnings on the exploitation of nature.

“We depend heavily on nature. Our cocoa
production, which gives the country over one billion dollars to support the
economy hinges on the climate. If the rains stop or we experience long drought
spell as a result of climate change effects, it will affect our cocoa that is
why we should be working towards adaption,” he noted.

Describing the predictions, signs and effects
of climate variation as worrying, Dr Benfor called for the need to
comprehensively engage the public, through awareness creation, by linking the
effects of the weather changes on the day-to-day activities and involve them in
developing actionable adaptation measures.

Dr Edward Nunoo, a Research Fellow at
IGGS, touching on the findings of the Study, disclosed that the
climate change policy makers and management’s mitigation and coping
strategy, awareness creation, training and capacity building efforts were still
below the levels required for active citizen engagement with climate change.

The Study, he noted, found that mainstreaming
climate change issues was an emerging approach that seeks to integrate policies
and measures to fuse climate change strategies into ongoing sectoral and
development planning and decision making processes to ensure long-term
sustainability and reduce vulnerability.

Mr Burkhardt Hellemann, the Resident
Country Representative of KAS, said climate change reportage in the media had
been low over the past weeks and reiterated the call for journalists to
prioritise and publicise issues on the changing weather.

“Climate change news can be boring,
scientific, complicated and full of doom and gloom, but these issues are
nevertheless important and the journalists have to make sure the audience find
these topics interesting,” he said.

GNA

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