In preparation towards the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) from 6th-17th November 2017 in Bonn, Germany hosted by Fiji, a Pre-COP climate festival was held in Accra yesterday October 24, 2017.
The Pre-COP Climate Festival is a high level event to sensitize key stakeholders and the public on climate change and the event theme was: “The Risks We Do Not Want”.
With COP23 in sight, Ghana must reflect and take stock of adaptation measures across climate-sensitive sectors from agriculture to water.
The event background and introductions was presented by Dr. Delali Dovie, Pre-COP 2017 Convener. The event was held at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS).
In his welcome remark as event Chair, Mr. Seth Osei Akoto, Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Crop Services Directorate stressed on the fact that climate change and climate variability is affecting Ghana’s agricultural sector. MoFA has thus developed a “Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Security Action Plan 2016 to 2020” to help address the issue with wide range of partners.
The event keynote address and opening was presented by Mr Eric Nana Agyeman-Prempeh, Director-General of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) who stated that the need for more collaborations in the Climate field in Ghana is needed to address the myriad of climate challenges.
Presenting Goodwill messages, His Excellency Mr Hans-Helge Sander, Deputy Head of Mission of German Embassy in Ghana stated that Germany, with the European Union, is a strong advocate of climate issues and has expanded support in areas of renewable energy and green initiatives.
According to him, Germany has deployed lots of innovative interventions to assist countries, including Ghana, cope with climate change issues.
Her Excellency Heather Cameron, High Commissioner of Canada in Ghana was very glad to see young persons from second cycle institutions participating in the pre-COP climate festival. She indicated that Canada is contributing US$2.35 billion to fight climate change and the funding channel is active and open to applications.
She further stated that Canada is supporting the Africa Risk Capacity Initiative, a multi-country Africa and Caribbean initiative spearheaded by the African Union to support countries with drought (and flood risk) insurance.
“Canada also contributes to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and is actively supporting countries with climate-smart agriculture initiatives”, she emphasised.
The climate festival was organised by the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The organisers received support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and other partners organising the 2017 Pre-COP23 Climate Festival.
Generally, participants were of the view that Ghana’s vulnerability to climate change expresses itself in particular impairment of household food security or income generation through low agricultural yield.
According to Mr Daniel Benefor of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is the need to act responsibly and the needed resources, including financing, provided in order to adequately prepare response and establish initiatives to overcome the negative impact of climate change.
Increased frequency and intensity of flooding of cities Ghana and disastrous weather events like severe droughts and rain-fed floods exposing exposes rural farming populations, says Ms Charlotte Norman, Director of Climate Change at NADMO.
3 panel discussions were staged with discussions centred on below topics:
Panel 1 Topic: Priority Issues of UNFCC for African Negotiators
Panel 2 Topic:Integrated Climate Risk Management and Ghana’s Accession to the African Risk Capacity
Panel 3 Topic: Ghana’s NDCs and Implementing Mechanisms
About the Conference of Parties (COP)
COP is the next most significant UN global event after the UN General Assembly meeting. Ghana is among several countries that have ratified the Paris Climate Agreement to implement policy actions toward greenhouse gas reduction and adaption to climate change based on its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The 2017 Pre-COP23 serves as Ghana’s Preparatory Meeting for the Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn.
History of the Pre-COP Climate Festival
The Pre-COP Climate Festival started as a Colloquium Series in 2012 instituted by the Regional Instituted for Population Studies (RIPS), University of Ghana. Since 2015 (before the Paris conference), RIPS has rebranded the Colloquium as the Pre-COP Climate Festival.
About the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)
In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the UNFCC on Climate Chnage, as a framework for the international cooperation to combat climate change by limiting average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and coping with impacts that were, by then, inevitable.
By 1995, countries launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change, and, two years later, adopted the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed country Parties to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on January 2013 and will end in 2020.
Date of signature: June 12, 1992
Date of Ratification: September 06, 1995
Date of Entry into force: December 05, 1995
News source: Agricinghana Media l Editor@agricinghana.com
Agricinghana Media is grateful to Dr Delali Dovie and the event team at the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana, Legon for extending an invitation to us to participate in the Pre-COP23 Climate Festival.
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