Business News of 2014-07-15

EPA calls for new attitudes to deal with Climate Change

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has urged its stakeholders to pre-empt all adaptive mechanisms to minimize the impact of climate change by spearheading the campaign on protecting of the environment.
Mr. Antwi-Boasiako Amoah, a Senior Programme Officer of EPA, expressed regret that many developing countries, including Ghana, were not paying much attention to the issue of climate change.
He was speaking at a workshop, organized by the Agency, to brief its stakeholders on the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) aimed at improving societal awareness on effects of climate change.
Mr. Amoah said Climate Change was a cross cutting issue that had a rippling effect on all sectors of the economy so it must be given equal attention like the issues of poverty alleviation and job creation.
The workshop was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), EPA-Western Region, NGOs and other stakeholders.
“Problems affiliated with Climate Change are becoming more severe in Ghana because majority of the people do not understand the concept and neither do they have the capacity to mitigate the adverse effects,” he said.
He said extreme climate variability in Ghana might result in changes in temperature and rainfall patterns with its attendant floods, storm and droughts.
It is, therefore, a national challenge to the national developmental agenda, which calls for the urgent reflection on the climate change capacity needs of the country to develop relevant systemic, institutional and human capacities to meet the challenges.
He said many rural communities, especially those living in low-lying coastlines, forest communities and dry areas, were observing increases in climate variability and already suffering from negative impacts.
Mr Amoah said the situation could get worse in years to come if measures are not put in place now.
Mr. Amoah noted that information in the context of the legislative framework, system level resources, public support and coordination was weak and called for its enforcement.
On community planning, he complained that most of the buildings found in the communities were not planned very well thereby blocking the free flow of water thus causing flood.
He called for the adoption and implementation of appropriate techniques, engineering standards and building norms to achieve resilient infrastructure developments.
Mr. Kwesi Owusu Sekyere, Central Regional Director, EPA, expressed disappointment that human activities such as the destruction of forests and mangroves, sand mining on the coast, improper planning of communities leading to haphazard construction of houses have aggravated the impacts of climate change.
He said evolving adaptation strategies had become the obvious way to deal with the situation and called for the involvement of all stakeholders and the public in the preparedness planning.
“We cannot halt climate change, but can work together to mitigate its effect,” he stated.