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West African Sub-region vulnerable to climate change – Boamah

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Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology said on Thursday that the West African Sub-Region would be the most affected region by climate change, as long as it remained one of the poorest in the world.

He said over the last three or four decades, the impact of climate change had revealed the region’s vulnerability and stressed the need for consensus actions to reduce the looming danger.

Dr Boamah was speaking at a two-day “technical validation workshop of sub-regional action, to reduce vulnerability to climate change in West Africa”.

Representatives from member countries are attending the workshop organised by the ECOWAS Commission and the Ghana government, to discuss and finalize the climate change response strategies for West Africa.

The workshop would come out with concrete and implementable activities, projects and programmes that would address the negative impact of climate change.

Dr Boamah said climate change scenarios for West Africa indicated that the climate variability currently being experienced was likely to increase and intensified.

“Droughts, floods and storms are likely to increase, not only in frequency but also in intensity. Rainfall patterns are still changing and in coastal areas, sea level rise and rising temperatures will threaten coastal areas and ecosystems,” he said.

He said the prospective impacts on society and economies across the sub-region were likely to be huge, thereby negatively affecting all sectors and groups of people with women, the poor and marginalized being the most affected.

The Deputy Minister announced that Ghana is preparing for a national climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies as part of the national climate change policy development.

He said these strategies were aimed at ensuring that climate change was integrated and mainstreamed into the country’s national life as well as district development policies, plans and programmes.

Dr Boamah said the strategy focused on implementation of concrete adaptation interventions that were designed to address cross-sectoral linkages with emphasis on ecosystem-based management.

That, he said, would assist government to critically examine existing development policies as well as institutional and technical capacity development, to reduce to the barest minimum the negative impact of climate change on Ghanaians through appropriate and desirable policy interventions.

Mr Ousseini Salifou, Commissioner of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources of the ECOWAS Commission, said no single country had the necessary resources and logistics to address climate change, hence the need for consensus efforts to mitigate the impact.

He said the list of Africa consensus was very tall and it was up to the participants to validate and adapt relevant ones for implementation.

Mr Salifou expressed the hope that the workshop would add up to a similar workshop at Banjul, Gambia, to take care of the impact of climate change in the sub-region.

He pledged the Commission’s preparedness to support member countries to fight climate change.

Mr Jonathan Allotey, Chairman for the ceremony said climate change was not new in Ghana and asked the participants to come out with a tall list of solution to the problem.

Source: GNA

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