Home / General News / Draft document to fight climate change in West Africa ready

Draft document to fight climate change in West Africa ready

Share this with more people!

A revised draft Regional Strategy and Plan of Action to Reduce Vulnerability to Climate Change in West Africa was presented to a meeting of ECOWAS Ministers of Environment Thursday, March 18, 2010.

The draft was revised at a three-day meeting of experts from ECOWAS Member States, which began on Monday, March 15 2010 in Accra with the sole aim of validating the draft Regional Strategy.

According to a press release from the ECOWAS Commission, the revised document had been considered at two separate meetings in Banjul in early March 2009 and Accra in July 2009 by regional experts in forestry, agriculture, environment and water resources.

It said the document seeks to develop and strengthen the resilience and adaptability of West Africa to climate change and extreme weather events.

Specifically, the action plan provides a framework to support regional and national initiatives to give the region the necessary impetus to deal with climate change and build the capacity to adapt.

According to the Commission, it is estimated that in 2030, all member states will have the human, technical and financial resources necessary to protect their human and natural systems from the adverse effects of climate change.

The Regional Strategy and Plan of Action to Reduce Vulnerability to Climate Change in West Africa is thus one of West Africa’s efforts to address the climate change phenomenon.

In his statement at the opening of the experts meeting, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water resources, Mr. Ousseini Salifou, explained that the mid-term validation meeting held in March 2009 enabled the ECOWAS Commission both to measure the scale of the challenge caused by climate change as well as the activities to be undertaken in addressing the phenomenon.

He noted that the Copenhagen summit on climate change which took place in December 2009 had “mixed outcomes”, adding that “everybody was indecisive on financing the Convention’s activities”.

Mr. Ousseini, who expressed delight over Africa’s unity throughout the negotiation process in Copenhagen, urged the continent to “remain united for the future negotiations”.

While reiterating West Africa’s determination to stand by Africa’s decisions, he called on the region to be prepared to monitor the negotiation processes as well as have a coherent instrument on which the international community can rely on so as to provide its support to the region.

The Commissioner assured that the ECOWAS Commission would continue to contribute to the capacity building programme for the representatives of the region to participate in the various negotiations following the Copenhagen Summit towards the 16th COP scheduled to be held in Mexico.

He described the regional strategy and plan of action as “the pillar and the indispensable element for its achievement in the area of adaptation and later in the area of mitigation for which we envisage the preparation of a sub-programme in order to complete the region’s strategy on climate change”.

In her welcome address, Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Ms. Sherry Ayittey, shared Ghana’s efforts to address the challenge of climate change.

Like other Member States, she said Ghana is a net greenhouse remover “and therefore has not contributed to the problem of climate change”. She however lamented that the country is extremely vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

While enumerating the various initiatives taken by Ghana towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which she said was “very insignificant”, the Minister urged Member States to “chart similar paths”.

She said Copenhagen did not deliver the fair, equitable and just outcome that was expected, “but we shall continue to call on Annex I Parties to reduce their emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels and at least 80-95 per cent by 2050”.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

Share this with more people!

Check Also

ECG, GWCL proposed tariff increment will compound Ghana’s economic crisis – TUC 

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says the request by utility service providers in the country …