Walk the talk on climate issues

HIGHLY unpredictable climatic conditions in recent times continue to pose serious problems worldwide. A few years ago, experts could easily predict rain and dry seasons which facilitated socio-economic activities...

HIGHLY unpredictable climatic conditions in recent times continue to pose serious problems worldwide. A few years ago, experts could easily predict rain and dry seasons which facilitated socio-economic activities globally.

Unfortunately, around the world today, climatic conditions are altered. Natural disasters such as floods, rainstorm, and earthquake can hardly be predicted.

The frequency and intensity, these days, therefore, call for immediate action. A devastating cyclone Idai has wiped off parts of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. But in all these, scientists have attributed the causes to uncontrolled human activities and actions that have had serious adverse impacts on climate.

Deforestation

Deforestation, arising out for innate desire to fell trees indiscriminately without replanting to replace those we fell, has been identified as a major problem in Ghana and elsewhere.

In Ghana, in particular, 24.3 per cent, about 5,517,000 hectares, is forested. Of this, 6.4 per cent, roughly 353,000 hectares was classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.

Unfortunately, between 1990 and 2000, Ghana lost an average of 135,000 hectares of forest PER YEAR. This amounts to an average annual deforestation rate of 1.82 per cent.

Incredibly, the rate of forest change increased by 4.2 per cent to 1.89 per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, Ghana lost 25.9 per cent of its forest cover or around 1,931,000 hectares. In essence, Ghana lost 27.6 per cent of its forest and woodland habitat during the same period.

Illegal mining

This is coupled with illegal mining activities generally associated cyanide that washes into the water table, thereby polluting the water whose evaporation also affect the atmosphere.

In fact, industrial activities around the world, especially in the developed countries have done a lot of harm to the Ozone layer. The effects of these are dire. Interestingly but unfortunately, Africa that contributes least to this pollution of the atmosphere, is the worst sufferer of the consequences.

It is, therefore, imperative that the world and Africa in particular pay attention to addressing this problem of climate change. The Africa Climate Week forum that was held in Accra recently would not have come any better time than this.

The conference brought together over 2,000 climate change scientists, policy-makers, private investors, development partners and civil society organisations who deliberated on ways to crowd in private section investments for Africa nations to implement their national climate action goals, also known as National Determined Contributions (NDCs).

EcoWatch welcomes the call made at the forum for increased investments for climate change actions to reduce the impact of global warming on the African continent.

Commendation

The paper highly commends the efforts of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), for that noble initiative. Also the Minster of Environment, Science and Technology and Innovation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deserve tonnes of commendation for their support.

We of EcoWatch are happy that the participants in their final communique recongnised the fact that fighting climate change was achievable in Africa only when climate plans were aligned with development plans, while mitigation and adaptation actions must be embedded in national development strategies.

It is instructive, therefore, to place on record President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo’s observation at the forum that since agriculture, water and energy were the drivers of development on the continent and characteristically sensitive to changing climate, it required bold and concrete steps to protect global climate from warming beyond reasonable limits. He then called on Africans to support ad join in the fight against climate charge.

Consequently, the paper entreats the participants to work actively with their respective governments on the issues agreed upon at the forum so that this lofty noble initiative of the UNFCCC is not reduced to a mere talking shop, for action speaks louder than words.

This can only succeed if African leaders can walk the talk.

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Editorial

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