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Opinions of Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Columnist: Amponsem, Joshua

Call for Climate Action Part 2

Continued from Part 1
As part of the Millennium Developmental Goal, food security is one of
the sectors that drive most developing countries into famine and
extreme poverty. Ghana currently depends on Agriculture for a higher
percentage of employment; the agriculture sector provides as with
foods and has a significant percentage of the nation’s Gross Domestic
Product (GDP). Farming basically depends on the fertility of lands and
more importantly weather conditions. Over exploitation in Ghana has
led to increased soil degradation caused by soil-nutrient mining,
erosion, deforestation and desertification, water logging, falling
water tables, over salinization and potentially, climate change render
barren the marginal cropland the poor had counted on for survival.
Aside farming, fisheries play a key role in livelihoods for people
along the 550km coastline. Fisheries, both marine and inland (on
rivers, lakes and lagoons) play a vital role in livelihoods and are
crucial for nutrition in Ghana (on the average, 24kg of fish is
consumed by every Ghanaian annually). The fisheries sector accounts
for 1.4 percent of GDP (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014) and employs
at least 2 million people, including 135,000 fishers in the marine
sector (Finegold et al., 2010)
The impacts of and responses to climate change have significant
implications on the fisheries sector and the lives of poor people
(Allisonet al., 2005). The marine fisheries are expected to be
adversely affected by climate change. Increasing temperature means,
increasing ocean surface temperature; Ghana receives bumper harvest
which is attributed by colder water surfaces which results in
upwelling- regarded as bumper fish catch. With increasing
temperatures, sea surfaces will be hotter and will result in most
pelagic organisms shifting habitat to depths closer to the benthic
zone. Less fish catch gradually will lead Ghana to food insecurity,
more food importations and higher economic crisis.
Climate change-related initiatives in Ghana are increasing, and the
government is committed to mainstreaming climate change responses into
multi-scale and multi-sector planning and policy processes (MEST,
2011). However, there is increasing over exploitation accompanied with
these initiatives and therefore there is no significant resulting
climate action plans in Ghana.
World leaders are meeting in New York City for a UN summit on the
climate crisis this September. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is
urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to
dramatically reduce global warming pollution.If all nations will agree
to the democratically effects of climate change impacts on their
citizens and how it can ruin economies, render millions homeless and
destruction of natural resources, we can all witness a secured future
for generations yet unborn.
The Peoples Climate Marchhappening in the United States of America
(New York City), 21stof September will bring together the voices of
many climate change advocates not because climate change is just an
eventual topic of discussion but a generational impact that we suffers
today, tomorrow and generations to come if fervent actions are not
taken. Let us all, every individual; raise his or her voice in support
of climate action at local and global level.
Thank You.
Author: Amponsem Joshua