A Bushfire Management Stakeholder Forum has been organised for players in the Agriculture Industry in Bolgtanga, Capital of the Upper East Region, under the theme “Bushfire Management for Improved Agriculture Outcomes in Northern Ghana.”
It highlights the intrinsic linkage between bushfire management and improving agriculture outcomes.
The forum was organized by the Bushfire Management Alliance (BMA) which currently comprises the Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (GASIP), which is funded by Government of Ghana and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); the European Union Resilience Against Climate Change (EU-REACH); the EU/BMZ co-funded Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme in North West Ghana (MOAP NW); Training and Extension for Conservation Agriculture in Savannah (TECAS); and Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD).
About 90 participants from Upper East, Savanna and North East Regions drawn from academia, Traditional Authorities, the media, the various security agencies, Fire Service, NCCE, NADMO, and CBO among others attended the forum.
Speaking in an interview with ModernGhana News in Bolgatanga, the Climate Change Adaptation Manager of GASIP Dr Edmund Kyei Akoto Damso indicated that, the goal of GASIP is to sustainably reduce poverty in rural Ghana, by increasing profitability and resilience to climate change of Agribusinesses and Smallholder farmers.
It was against this backdrop he stated that the Bushfire Management Alliance (BMA) emerged out of a pressing need to coordinate efforts with calculated steps to control the perennial issue of bushfires, to achieve the common goal of improving productivity and sustainability of agriculture, as a shared goal of all key stakeholders in the agriculture value chain, to manage bushfires in Ghana.
Dr Danso said from experience, all the institutions have strategies to fight bushfire occurrences but what was lacking was how to coordinate their efforts in the common fight. He added that there is the need to embrace more progressive, collaborative, and efficient ways of doing things.
In a welcome address read by Alabira Ibrahim on behalf of the Deputy National Programme Coordinator of GASIP, BMA indicated that bushfire continues to pose a serious challenge to the achievement of the objectives of many development interventions in the country and this is a worrying situation.
He stated that, with the current trajectory of climate change and the accompanying global warming, it has become more of a necessity than a choice for countries across the world to maintain a green cover by planting more trees.
He said apart from the economic value that trees provide, they also play the crucial role of protecting the human race from the devastating effects of climate change. "It has become imperative, more than ever before, to take measures that will ensure that we sustain enough green cover to absorb the carbon emissions and protect the Earth."
A communique was issued at the end of the bushfire management forum and signed by nine institutions on behalf of the remaining stakeholders pledging their support to the fight against bushfires.