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‘Climate change can affect agric productivity’

By: Ama Amankwah Baafi
Participants at the workshop

A REVIEW of climate change policies has recommended the need to strengthen the national capacity to monitor and implement strategies to deal with the effects of climate change.

Failure to do so will result in negative effects such as a reduction in agricultural productivity.

Presenting the findings at a workshop in Accra, the Deputy Director of the Science Technology and Policy Research Institute (STEPRI), Dr Mrs Adelaide Agyeman, noted that draughts and floods were destroying the crops and harvest of farmers, especially in northern Ghana.

“Climate Change is one aspect of how the livelihood of farmers can be threatened. In Ghana, the climate has changed over the last years and crops are getting destroyed due to periods of extreme heat and heavy rains,” she said.

The objective of the report, ‘Climate Change and policies and social transformation in Northern Ghana,’ was to review selected climate related policies in Ghana to identify major policy gaps in them and recommend ways to address climate change related social issues.

The National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) in Ghana, enacted in 2012 to provide strategic direction and coordinates issues, touches on the three areas of dealing with climate change, namely adaptation, mitigation and transformation (social development) but fails to provide better ways to mobilise both local and international resources for climate change.

“We can have all things in the policy but if we don’t have money to push it, we won’t get anywhere. The lack of a viable financing plan for our NCCP strategy policy environment may slow down implementation plans,” Dr Agyeman said.

Causes and effects of CC
It include greenhouse gas emission, deforestation, industrial emissions, agric practices and other natural causes. 

In Ghana, climate change is manifested through rising temperatures, declining rainfall totals and increased variability, rising sea levels and high incidence of weather extremes and disasters.

The average annual temperature has increased 1°C in the last 30 years.

Other findings
The review highlighted the lack of institutional capacity to respond to climate change emergencies, weak monitoring and evaluation systems, poor and weak coordination among others.

“We found that the Ghana Irrigation Development Policy and the National Water Policy do not address key social actions. We also looked at the Food and Agricultural Development Sector Policy (FASDEP II) with objective to enhance the environment for all categories of farmers while targeting poor and rich producers,” she said.  

Addressing the gap
The study recommended the need to mobilise funds from both local and international sources and strengthen coordination between national and global institutions for effective climate change activities.

The workshop
The STEPRI organised the one-day participatory and knowledge sharing workshop as part of the Resilience Against CC: Social Transformation Research and Policy Advocacy (REACH-STR).

REACH is one of the three projects under the European Union Agricultural Programme, ‘Productive investment for agriculture in the savannah ecological zones of Ghana.’

The objective of the workshop was to give participants the opportunity to assess how policies implemented by the government have addressed challenges related to migration, changes in gender roles and climate that constantly perpetuate social transformation in northern Ghana.