Sunday, September 7, 2008


A Report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established that climate change in the country is affecting fisheries, land management, root crop and cocoa production.
The trend could also erode poverty reduction efforts, if action is not taken to mainstream climate change into national development and poverty reduction programmes, the report says.
In addition, women who mostly depend on the ecosystem for their food, water, energy and other means by which they nurture their families will be the hardest hit.
The report, titled "Ghana Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptations Assessments," was done with the assistance of The Netherlands government through The Netherlands Climate Assistance Programme (NCAP), using internationally accepted methods.
The lead author of the report, Mr William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, said the report was one of the responses of the country in the international debate on the matter.
In addition, the country had in fulfilment of its obligation under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), prepared its national communication strategy on the assessment of emissions by human activity.
In addition, a Bus Rapid System was to be introduced as one of the measures to reduce emissions by vehicles on some congested roads in the Central Business District, he added.
The report says that the fisheries sector, which covers about 25 per cent of Ghanaians who live on the coastal zone, and about 10 per cent of those who depend on it for their livelihood, ??????upwelling and sea surface temperature conditions observed for the past 40 years have come with dwindling stocks of various species of fish?????.
The observed changes in the sea, the report says is "a local manifestation of global scale climate changes".
On health, the monthly incidence rates of diseases, such as meningitis and diarrhoea have seen a rise at the national level, which is attributed to reduced rainfall amounts and increased mean air temperature.
The report says, "The nation is at risk of guinea worm infestation under current conditions of increased temperature and reduced rainfall."
On land management, the report assesses the implications of climate change on the quality of land, its biotic cover, desertification, among other things.
Among the issues raised in this section are the food shortages that will come with the adverse environmental changes, involving land degradation and drier climate.
This is also expected to affect greatly vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, children, and nursing mothers.
With less amount of rainfall predicted in the future, root crop production is expected to reduce, as well as the country’s main cash crop, cocoa.
This, the report says, will worsen poverty levels in some areas in Ghana that fall within zones with relatively high temperatures and low rainfall.
These areas already have a high incidence of poverty.
On solutions, aquaculture has been proposed as an option with great promise for crop farmers to diversify their income.
In the health sector, strengthening the existing capacity of public health interventions and applying new approaches in examining associated risks to climate change in the health sector was recommended.
The report proposes "appropriate environmental recovery and livelihood support programmes," in land management, with the threat of aridity of land in future.
It calls on policy makers to understand and appreciate the complexities of climate change and poverty for effective policy interventions.

No comments: