Deputy Director at the Ministry of Environment says government is committed to dealing with climate change and its impact on the populace.
Peter Derry says a lot of government’s flagship projects have the objective of helping the country overcome the negative impact of the climate change problem.
“Government’s commitment is both political and practical… We have participated actively in discussions leading to the Paris Agreement and all….” Mr Derry said during a media engagement organised by the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), where he is also chairman of the governing board.
“Climate change features heavily in various government flagship programmes…We have developed the renewable energy law which is advocating 10% energy mix in our energy generation….We have developed our tariff system to encourage the private sector to bring in renewables…” he explained.
Mr Derry identified government’s one village one dam policy and planting for food and jobs (PFJs) programme as two major initiatives helping deal with climate change. “Government is trying to put up dams and reservoirs to collect water all year round…PFJ is also an adaptation intervention… where farmers are being provided with support to have dry season farming to complement what they do during the rainy season because poverty levels are getting worse because of the impact of climate change….” he explained.
The media engagement by WASCAL was to brief the Ghanaian media on work being done with other collaborators to help Ghana meet the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 on Climate Action. It was also to showcase the success stories in its contribution towards the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) on climate change in Ghana.
WASCAL is an international West African climate change organization comprising 11 West African countries, with major funding from the German government, under the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). It works to combat climate change and improve livelihoods by providing evidence-based climate solutions through its three key components: Climate and Environmental Services, Capacity Building and Climate Research.
Prof. Dr. René Haak of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany told the media “climate change is affecting the lives of millions of people in all parts of the world.
Current projections on future developments indicate that there is an urgent need to develop concepts on how to adapt to these challenges in due course.”
Prof. Haak emphasised the importance of strengthening the science research base in Africa, acknowledging the efforts of WASCAL in coordinating several of these studies.
“Science and research offer proactive approaches to deal with the current and expected changes. In this regard, the role of science is to be understood as a service to those societies that are most severely affected by climate change and to provide decision-makers with evidence-based results and advice,” he said.
Executive Director of WASCAL, Dr Moumini Savadogo, said for eight years now, they have invested a lot of time and energy in pursuing the implementation of cutting edge research on various aspects of climate change.
He said WASCAL’s doctoral and master programmes have been implemented in 10 lead universities across nine West African countries, and one more university and country will be added soon.
Dr Savadogo also disclosed WASCAL has purchased and installed automatic weather stations across all its 10 member-countries in collaboration with the national meteorological agencies to help gather more data on the weather patterns.