05.08.2006 Health

Ghana Adopts Convention To Reduce Greenhouse Effects

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Ghana yesterday adopted the Second National Communication Document, aimed at allowing the ecosystem to adapt naturally to climatic change to ensure sustainable food production.

The document, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocols, would enforce commitments to promote technologies and practices that would help to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by all sectors of the economy.

At a stakeholders meeting in Accra, Mr Kofi Poku Adusei, Deputy Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, said the Government remained committed to join the global community in the bid to find solutions to problems of climate change and therefore ratified the UNFCCC in 2002.

He said the adoption of the document would enable the country to overcome shortcomings associated with the preparation of the initial document and address data gaps. Adding that "This self assessment exercise includes broader stakeholder consultation, evaluation of existing capacities, assessment of level of knowledge and identification of capacity gaps."

Mr Adusei said since Ghana was heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture, implications of climate change should be taken seriously at all levels of policy making because there were clear linkages between poverty across agro-ecological zones in the country.

The Minister stated that the Ministry together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had formulated a three-year plan aimed at establishing a national institution to co-ordinate and implement multilateral environmental agreements at the national level.

He called on the media to support the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create the needed awareness on climate change and disseminate its findings to the general public.

Mr Adusei asked all stakeholders to develop interest for the successful implementation of the project and urged them to co-operate with EPA to meet all obligations they had assumed as a party to the Convention.

Mr Jonathan Allotey, Executive Director of the EPA, said since capacity building was essential for effective implementation, the Agency would organise a technical workshop to train people on greenhouse inventory preparation. He stated that previous activities in the initial document included assessment of vulnerability of water resources and agricultural and costal zones to climate change with a view to determining the priority actions to adapt to resolve the negative impacts of climate change.

Mr William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, National Climate Change Co-ordinator, EPA, said contents of the Second Convention included strategies for climate change, education, training and public awareness, steps to integrate climate change into national development and measures to facilitate adequate adaptation to climate change.

The stakeholders included representatives from the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Statistical Service, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment.

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