Ghana To Be Adversely Hit By Impact Of Climate Change
Ghana's 0.05 contribution to the greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane has been described as minimal, yet, it is one of the countries to suffer the greatest impact of climate change. This is due to the fact that the effect of the phenomenon on tropical countries is higher. GHG are responsible for the warming of the earth and scientific evidence indicates that due to activities of man, they have greatly increased over the years impacting negatively on agriculture thereby threatening food security in most tropical countries. Mr. Theodore Asimeng, an officer of the Environmental Application Technology, said this at a day's training workshop on "Climate Change and Right to Food in Ghana," organised by the Central Regional branch of the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) with support from Action Aid Ghana in Cape Coast in the Central Region. The workshop, attended by 35 workers drawn from the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Parks and Gardens, Twifo Oil Palm Plantation and the Cocoa Board, seeks to inform and promote dialogue among participants about climate change and its implications for agriculture and food security in the country. He expressed regret that even though the so called developed countries like the United States of America and Germany, and recently China, contribute much of the GHS, the effects will be felt in tropical countries whose agricultural activities and food security are being threatened due to erratic rainfall pattern and drought in some cases. Mr. Asimeng expressed concern about the effects of global warming on agriculture in Ghana and pointed out that a lot of people are losing their livelihood due to flooding/drought and called for measures to mitigate the effects because agriculture is the backbone of the country's economy. Mr. Karim Saagbul, Programme Officer of GAWU, said the workshop will explore ways of reducing impacts of climate change on the lives of Ghanaians, come up with clear recommendations for Government to tackle the issue and also get an informed workforce of agricultural workers that will pass on the knowledge acquired. Mr. Saagbul mentioned some causes of food insecurity as prolonged droughts and desertification, over-flooding, crop failure, disease and pest infestation, poor natural resource management, poor harvesting and lack of technology. He said agriculture, forestry and fisheries are sensitive to climate and their production processes are likely to be affected by climate change which will affect livelihoods and access to food at both the global and local levels. According to him, if agricultural production in low income countries such as Ghana is affected by climate change, the livelihoods of large numbers of the rural poor will be put at risk and their vulnerability to food insecurity will increase. On the way forward, he said mitigating climate change will be critical to avoiding future breakdowns in food and livelihood systems, land conversion from forest to pasture or cropland, intensive crop and livestock production.