The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have commended the government for constituting climate change department within the ministry of Environment, Science and Technology to handle climate change related issues and prompting the parliament to constitute parliamentary select committee on climate change to be responsible for reviewing, recommending and initiating climate change resilient policies and programmes.
They also commended Care International for taken lead role in championing climate change issues in Africa.
The constitution of a parliamentary select committee and special department on climate change would further the education and formulation of climate change resilient policies and programmes to help the poor and vulnerable communities adapt to the effects of climate change and climate variabilities.
The civil society organisations commended the government during a two-day climate change adaptation learning programme (ALP) review meeting organised by Care International Ghana held in Tamale.
The meeting which brought together civil society organisations working in environment, food security, water and sanitation, community development and capacity building organisations across the country reviewed climate change adaptation learning programme being implemented by Care International Ghana through partner organisations, assessed climate change situation and it impacts on livelihoods.
They also reviewed and evaluated food and water situation, and how far agriculture sector fared for the past five years in the wake of climate change and climate variability impact on livelihoods on the poor.
Members of the CSOs pointed out that a step by Ghana government to constitute parliamentary select committee to champion climate change issues in country was an indication that the nation’s leadership had recognized the need for comprehensive policy and programme on climate change to reduce it's impacts on livelihoods.
The coordinator for Youth Volunteers for the Environment (YVE), Mr. Lovans Owusu-Takyi who also commended the government for the move said the climate change was a threat to sustainable livelihoods and development and needed attention.
He said that the effects of climate change were greater and disastrous and that any action by the government to deal with the issue should not be politicised.
Addressing participants, the manager of Care Adaptation Learning Programme for Africa, (ALP), Mr. Romanus Gyan explained that ALP is a life changing programme that seeks to build the capacities of vulnerable communities and households to adapt to the effects of climate change and climate variability.
He said that the programme was using what he called “community based adaptation approaches” which centered on four key elements including promoting climate resilient livelihoods strategies, building capacities of local NGOs and local public institutions, disaster risk reduction strategies and addressing underlying causes of vulnerability through social mobilization for empowerment and advocacy to influence quick policies implementations and interventions.
The Manger told the Enquirer in an interview that climate change does not only needs cash but governmental and individual and corporate institutional actions. He said “Coping with effects of climate change will demand support and willingness and result oriented adaptation and mitigation measures to reduce the impact of climate change on people’s livelihoods”.
He said that, it is against this background that, CARE International Ghana has introduced the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) in northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana to support rural but poor and vulnerable women to cope with the effects of climate change and climate variability.
The Adaptation Learning programme, which is currently running in five communities in these regions, also seeks to empower women in micro financing activities to reduce their vulnerabilities and expand economic viable ventures within these areas to support people’s livelihoods improvement.
The programme manager said that, ALP is expected to cover about ninety rural communities in the two regions of Ghana targeting about 5,400 poor rural women to help transformed rural economies to better the livelihoods of rural dwellers and at the same time cushion them against the effects of global warming.