Ghana preparing adaptation communication ahead COP26

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Ghana is preparing an Adaptation Communication (ADCOM) to inform synthesis reporting for the Global Stocktake (GST) under the Paris Agreement ahead 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

The ADCOM will enhance the visibility and profile of adaptation in Ghana; provide input to the GST; strengthen adaptation action and support; and enhance learning and understanding of adaptation needs and actions.

Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, announced this at a joint presser in Accra at the end of a three-day visit by Madam Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the United Kingdom(UK) International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency and Minister of State in charge of Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change.

The visit comes ahead of the UK hosting COP26 in November, leveraging on the United Kingdom’s presidency to accelerate climate action, including a particular focus on adaptation and resilience in the most vulnerable parts of the world.

During her trip, she visited UK-funded projects promoting climate action and interacted with key businesses and parts of government working to build Ghana’s resilience to climate change.

She paid a working visit to Kumasi to engage smallholder farmers, businesses and regulators across the cocoa supply chain in Ghana to understand the impacts of climate change on cocoa farmers, and their response to climate-related challenges.

Dr. Afriyie said Ghana was committed to working alongside the UK, Egypt, Malawi and Colombia, as a Steering Committee member of the Adaptation Action Coalition (AAC).

He stated that there were sector specific adaptation efforts including Agriculture, Cities and Infrastructure, Coastal Areas Ecosystems, Forestry and land related that would need sector specific engagements to appreciate the efforts and the challenges.

He said the impacts of climate change were experienced differently along gender lines, and it was widely acknowledged that women, the elderly, and the disabled were more vulnerable to the threats of climate change, largely due to their frequent lack of control over productive assets that could otherwise help them to address the threats posed by climate change.

Dr Afriyie noted that Ghana was advocating for gender-responsive adaptation interventions that addressed the threats of climate change on the livelihoods of those socioeconomic groups.

“The most cost effective and sustainable way to address the climate challenge in Ghana is to incorporate adaptation planning into development policies, plans and programmes. Ghana has responded to this call positively by putting in place systems to address adaptation needs in our development discourse.

“The goal is to integrate adaptation into policies and plans for climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture, water, health, energy, etc. As we strive to meet our adaptation needs we would work with partners such as the UK to deliver on our adaptations goals,”he said.

Madam Trevelyan reiterated that the United Kingdom would host the UN climate change conference COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, where world leaders would converge to agree on how to tackle the urgent threat of global climate change.

She noted that alongside Italy, the UK would work to stop global temperatures rising above 1.5 degrees and protect the planet and people from the intensifying impacts of climate change.

Over the coming months, Madam Trevelyan mentioned that the UK government would call on governments around the world to commit to secure global net zero , urgently adapt to protect communities and natural habitats, mobilise finance and work together to accelerate actions.

She said aside from planting a tree in Ghana during her visit, she engaged with the Forestry Commission in Kumasi to learn about the UK-Ghana Forest mapping collaboration to produce an innovative forestry map that supported adaptation and nature goals.

“The map will be used to target deforestation in Ghana, support adaptation to climate change amongst smallholder farmers and ensure deforestation-free supply chains,” she said.

Ghana, like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is very vulnerable to climate change, and increases in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns will affect many critical sectors.

Cocoa, Ghana’s most significant agricultural export is particularly vulnerable to climate change. The UK has supported the Cocoa and Forest Initiative (CFI) launched in March 2017 by the Prince of Wales with about £2 million.

The initiative is in partnership with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and the World Cocoa Foundation, committing to end deforestation and forest degradation in the cocoa supply chain.

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