Mr Hans-Hagle Sander, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy has said dealing with climate change has become a key element of Germany’s efforts to develop business with West Africa.
He said many German organisations, were carrying out various activities and programmes in West Africa, especially in Ghana, to ensure that the region adapted to the impact of climate change.
Speaking at a Pre-Conference of Parties (COP) climate Festival held in Accra to sensitise the public on climate risk, Mr Sander commended organisers of the conference, noting that it provided an open space to discuss the vulnerability of Ghana to climate change and options at hands to increase climate resilience.
The Pre-COP festival was organised by the Regional Institute for Population Studies, (RIPS) of the University of Ghana, in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ministries of Finance and Food and Agriculture, with the support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the International Development Centre of Canada as part of Ghana’s preparation towards COP 23 to be hosted in Bonn, Germany.
The Pre-COP climate Festival was one of the flagship projects of the RIPS, intended to bring many diverse groups of people and actors together to raise awareness and deliberate the state of Ghana in respect of climate change.
COP 23, scheduled from November 6 to 17, would be chaired by Fiji with support from the German government, and would help discuss and strengthen commitments of countries towards climate change mitigation, adaptation and funding activities to relieve the world, especially, developing countries like Ghana, of the impact of climate change.
Mr Sander announced that the German Chamber of Commerce in Ghana would be organising the West African Clean Energy and Environment Exhibition and Conference for the sixth time this year in Accra.
He said the conference would kick-off from November 7, and would among others, feature a pavilion of 13 German companies supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economy to display state-of-the-art renewable energy technology.
He noted that Germany would continue to support Ghana in its efforts to identify and implement adaptation measures in the agricultural sector and the development of Climate Smart Agriculture.
The adaptation measures, he said were aimed at strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers and the ability of the government of Ghana to adequately react on drought calamities.
He said under the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Natural Resources’, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GIZ supports the Ministry of Finance, the NADMO, and the Ministries of Fisheries and Agriculture in the accession process to the African Risk Capacity (ARC).
The ARC was established as a Specialised Agency of the African Union to support member states to improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to extreme weather events and natural disasters, he noted.
Mr Sander said the German Ministry of Education and Research also supports West African countries through the establishment of the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) that was located in Accra.
WASCAL, he explained, engages in developing the necessary databases of climate data in order to create the scientific knowledge necessary to base interventions on.
He indicated that historical data for Ghana clearly showed a progressive rise in temperature and decrease in mean annual rainfall in all the six agro-ecological zones in the country and that climate change was being manifested in the country through rising temperatures, changing rainfall totals and increased variability, rising sea levels as well as higher incidences of weather extremes and disasters.
He noted that the German government’s recognition and commendations of the intention of African Countries to join forces and pool drought risks through the ARC.
“Germany supports the development of the African Risk Capacity and its accessing member countries through equity investment and support on technical capacities”, Mr Sander added.
In attendance were Mr Eric Nana Agyemang-Prempeh, Director-General of NADMO, Professor Samuel N.A. Codjoe, Director of RIPS, University of Ghana, some Delegates to the 23rd Conference of Parties in Bonn, students of some second cycle schools and state and non-state actors .