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Opinions of Monday, 19 October 2015

Columnist: Bulmuo, Bruce Misbahu

Ghana on course to tackle climate change

Ghana has drafted an intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) document that aims at setting out a policy framework that integrates adaptation, mitigation, and other climate related policy to combat the challenges of climate change, which is now a reality.

The INDC is in response to invitation to countries to initiate or intensify domestic preparations to adapt or mitigate climate change effects. The invitation was made during the 19th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) in Warsaw, Poland.

The INDCs resonate with Ghana’s medium-term development agenda (Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda II), the anticipated 40-year socio-economic transformational plan, and the universal sustainable development goals.

Twenty mitigation and eleven adaption programme of actions in 7 priority economic sectors are proposed for implementation in the ten-year period the INDC will span (2020-2030). Ghana needs 22.6 billion dollars to finance the INDCs. The country will raise 6.3 billion dollars with the remaining 16.3 billion dollars coming from external sources.

The Parliament of Ghana will subsequently ratify the INDC sometime in 2016 to give it the needed legal backing and also make it operational.
President John D. Mahama is expected to present Ghana’s intended nationally determined contribution at the 20th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris, France in December this year.

The president is expected to tell participants at COP 20 that Ghana holds the view that the INDCs should cover mitigation, adaptation, finance technology, capacity building and transparency.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA), which is at the forefront of the drafting of Ghana’s INDC has set out on a roadshow to create awareness among civil society organisation (CSOs) across the country about the existence of the INDC.

An awareness creation workshop was earlier organised in Accra for CSOs from the Greater Accra, Volta, and Central Regions. In Kumasi CSOs drawn from the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Western and Eastern Regions have also been engaged by the EPA and the German development agency GIZ, which is providing funds for the awareness creation exercise. Civil Society Organisations in Upper West, Upper East and the Northern Regions will soon be engaged by the EPA also.

The Ashanti Regional director of the EPA, Mr Isaac Osei, told representatives of CSOs in Kumasi that recent disasters which have occurred in the country are a testimony to the fact that climate change is a reality.
He said the world has acknowledged the phenomenon of climate change and in that regard measures are being implemented to mitigate or adapt to climate change effects.

He was happy that “Ghana has made strenuous efforts in partnership with her international partners to combat climate change”. He expressed the hope that the INDC will serve as a viable blueprint to guide the country to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Mr Osei said suggestions and recommendations will be solicited from the CSOs to be incorporated into the INDCs for the document to reflect the views of every important segment of society.

At the individual level he entreated Ghanaians to also adopt simple and effective measures that are friendly to the environment whether in construction or in farming and other commercial activities.

Representatives of some CSOs who spoke to this reporter on the sidelines of the workshop expressed delight at the steps taken by the EPA to engage them.

Dunkwahene honours outstanding citizens
The overlord of the Dunkwa Traditional Area (DTA), Nana Obeng Nuakoh III, has honoured four individuals for their immense contribution to the socio-economic development of Dunkwa in the Central Region.

The four are; the Upper Denkyira East Municipal Commander of the Ghana Police Service, Sep. Della Dzansi, the Principal of the Nursing and Midwifery Training College, David Benjamin Sampson. The rest are the CEO of Radio Visa, Victor Gadri and Ben Amono, a private businessman and entrepreneur.

They were honoured during the recent celebration of the Dunkwa Brago Afahye festival to foster unity in the Upper Denkyira East area and promote economic and the social wellbeing of the citizens.

A citation in honour of the principal of the Nursing and Midwifery Training College said in part that “in recognition of your contribution to the development and progress of Dunkwa, your selfless and dedication to duty and above all your helping hand to anyone that calls on you for help irrespective of the one’s political or religious affiliation”.

The principal is credited with initiating reforms, which have greatly helped to improve teaching and learning at the Nursing and Midwifery Training College.
Nana Nuakoh III was also full of praises to the Municipal Police Commander for bringing crime to low levels and ensuring peace and security in the area. He thanked the recognized individuals for their service to Dunkwa and he urged them to further serve as shining examples for others to emulate.

Nana was worried that the Boa Amponsem Senior High School has since its establishment in 1960 not received any meaningful intervention from government to fully develop the school into an attractive center of learning.

He appealed to all citizens of Dunkwa to continue to have the area at heart and contribute their widow’s mite towards the development of the area for posterity’s sake.