John Agyekum Kufuor

The Former President, John Agyekum Kufuor has reiterated the need for African countries to form a strong force to address the challenges relating to climate change.

Stressing that if these challenges are not carefully managed it could pose a great challenge to food security and livelihood in the continent.

He said the situation is very worrying that while Africa is already vulnerable to poverty, inadequate infrastructure, and slow socio-economic growth, climate change and extreme environmental conditions tend to worsen the development challenges in African countries.

The former President said this on Thursday at the ongoing climate change summit for mayors and local authorities to dialogue on how to “step up Local Climate Actions in Africa” held in Accra.

According to him, Africans must reverse the trend and trigger robust measures that could reduce the increasing adverse effects of climate change on the continent of Africa and the World.

“We must reverse this trend and trigger robust measures to reduce the increasing adverse effects of climate change on the African continent in particular and the world in general,” he said.

He recalled his time as President that the major efforts on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation commenced, stating that, ” it was a new dawn which intended to prioritize and tackle climate change as part of development agenda, ”

The former President cited the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), Sendai Framework on Risk Reduction and the Paris Agreement of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which seeks to emphasize the need to integrate climate adaptation on national policies and actions at the sub-national level.

“As Local Government and Mayors, it is important to localize the climate agenda and develop local climate action plans that address specific needs of the citizens,” the former President urges.

He called on the media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), academia and the cooperate bodies to promote research, advocacy and investments into emerging major developmental challenges across Africa.

” The task is enormous but with a strong leadership, structure institutional arrangements and commitments, I strongly believe we can reverse this catastrophic situation and promote living earth,” he added.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama argued that local governments are in a better position to address the climate change challenges and effects.

She, therefore, said such intention must play a pivotal role to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change through the local level policies and engagement of citizens in the country.

” This is because local governments are the most accessible authorities and possess the most up-to-date knowledge on the local environment and population, ” she added.

She highlighted some initiatives that Ghana has taken to combat the climate change at the local level such as guidelines by NDPC to Local Authorities to mainstream climate change and related environmental issues into their development plans, to empower local government to embark on national tree-crop planting initiative under Government’s flagship programme, namely, Planting for Exports and Rural Development.

Others include 5 percent of resources allocated to the Local Government for development activities assigned to climate change and Disaster Risk Reduction activities and the United Nation’s Capital Development Fund is supporting the Local Government to tackle floods, long drought spells, poor drains, tree planting, water among others under the project “Local Climate Adaptive Living” in 3 selected districts on pilot basis.

About 2000 participants from Local Government sector, Non-State actors, NGOs, CSOs, and the private sector in both the local and international communities attended the summit to dialogue on how to strengthen the Local Climate Actions platform in Africa to bring an effective solution that would respond to the increasing vulnerability of climate change to the continent.

Source: Eric Nii Sackey||[email protected]

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