The West Africa Region is one of the hardest hit by climate change effects and to ensure the survival of its citizens, Environmental Ministers are meeting to discuss sustainable mitigation and adaptation strategies in Accra.
It is being held under the third West African Ministerial Council Meeting being organised by the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, (WASCAL) with funding from the German Government.
The Ministerial Council Meeting is on the theme “Deepening Partnerships between German-West African Policy Makers towards the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal 13 on Climate Action”.
Climate change can be described, as any significant long-term change in the expected patterns of average weather of a region over a significant period of time and an example is an increase in temperature as well as a change in rainfall pattern.
Madam Patricia Appiagyei, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation speaking at the opening said the magnitude of the threats that global warming posed to the survival of humanity demand a collective action to address it by keeping global warming below the two degrees target.
Aside from the ten Ministers from West Africa, Representative of ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources as well as Madam Anja Karliczek, the Federal Minister of Education and Research of the Federal Republic of Germany are participating in the meeting.
Ghana, Madam Appaigyei noted was undertaking a number of initiatives in the area of renewable energy, afforestation, and clean cooking with the aim of contributing to attaining the global goal of the Paris Agreement and to reduce global warming.
The Minister mentioned that Ghana had invested nearly $ 20 million in the savannah dry lands to provide access to water to farmers in the long dry-season, input supply and the promotion of sustainable land technologies.
Mrs. Appiagyei stated that the government had developed a plastic policy to deal with the whole value chain of its management including circular economy.
On the conservation of the country’s biodiversity, she said the government was pursuing the development of community participation processes in the management and sustainable conservation of natural sites; promote partnerships between local communities and public institutions.
Madam Marie-Odile Attansso, Chairperson of WASCAL Ministerial Council stated that WASCAL was committed to cooperating with many agencies and universities in the region, to provide a knowledge platform of excellence for its partners by pooling the expertise of Germany and its 10 West African member countries.
She said WASCAL had a clear vision of becoming one of Africa’s leading institutions in the provision of climate services to protect and improve livelihoods across West Africa and enable members to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change.
Madam Attansso reiterated that it would continue to pursue its core arms of operation namely climate service to guide climate change-related decision making at all levels of development, build capacity through producing high-quality graduate studies programmes at the Masters and Doctoral as well as conduct Climate Research.
Madam Karliczek observed that climate change effects were visible around the world especially in the West Africa region and that there was no better time act but now.
She said climate adaptation and mitigation actions were needed to be accelerated and integrated into social practice.
Madam Karliczek noted the fight against climate change could be achieved through effective and continuous research and knowledge exchange to advance, socio-economic development.
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