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26.03.2011 General News

Vice President urges chiefs to support climate change initiatives

By GNA
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March 26, 2011 Kumasi, March 25, GNA - Vice President John Dramani Mahama has appealed to traditional leaders to assist the Government to design and pursue effective adaptation strategies to curb the menace of climate change in the country.

Their role, he said, was crucial in view of their position as custodians of the nation's cultural heritage where indigenous coping strategies for climate change phenomenon existed.

The Vice President made the appeal in an address read for him at a workshop for chiefs and queens on Ghana National Climate Change Policy Framework in Kumasi on Friday.

The workshop, organized by the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), was meant to sensitize the traditional rulers on the various initiatives being pursued by the government to tackle the danger.

Mr Mahama said given the development challenges and threat posed by climate change and variability, Ghana needed a long-term national plan that took into account different factors.

It was for this reason that MEST acting in concert with a wide range of stakeholders prepared a draft national policy framework.

He explained that the national development goal was to enhance current and future development to climate impacts by strengthening its adaptive capacity and building resilience of the society and ecosystems.

To this end, sectoral climate change strategies were being prepared to complement the development of an agenda for early actions.

Amongst them was the identification of options for diversification of power mix pursued by the Ministry of Energy through the enactment of the Renewable Energy Law.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture as well as Land and Natural Resources were also conducting assessment of the implications of anomalies in soil temperature, support research efforts to promote drought resistance in cocoa and shield cocoa plantations from dry conditions.

The fisheries sector was identifying alternative fisheries governance structures that could effectively reduce unregulated, unsustainable withdrawals from the Guinea Coast.

He said the Government was also investing in water efficient irrigation systems in the north on a scale that could be considered as a priority adaptation strategy.

Miss Shirley Ayeetey, Minister of Environment Science and Technology, spoke of the need to take pragmatic steps to check climate change and global warming.

She said the goal of the adaptation strategy was to ensure systematic approach to climate change in national development.

Wulugu Naba Pugansoa Professor John S. Nabila, President of the National House of Chiefs, said traditional rulers were mindful of problems of the environment and the House had set up a Committee on the environment and called on the MEST to assist it with resources to function effectively.

GNA

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