Ghana’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) project has been launched in Accra to guide the process of integrating climate change into national decision-making and effective adaptation in the country.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, who launched the Plan on Tuesday, said the National Adaptation Planning process was one of the efforts by the government to address the impact of climate change from a more integrated, coordinated and sustainable manner.
Ghana has received an amount of 2.9 million dollars funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to implement the adaptation project within a 36 months period.
The NAP looks at identified medium and long term adaptation needs, informed by the latest climate science, with its corresponding strategies developed to address such needs.
It had been described as a continuous iterative process that follows a country-driven, participatory and transparent approach.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng explained that the launch of the NAP, which was planned for March this year, was earlier postponed because of the unexpected side effects of COVID-19.
He said already, the sector Ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been rolling out some Climate adaptation programmes in the northern parts of the country, where the impact was being most felt to help mitigate the impacts.
He said since the 1960s, Ghana’s average temperature has risen more than one degree celsius while the changing weather patterns already happening in the country was impacting on food production and the ecosystems.
Also, fresh water scarcity risks were becoming even more acute in drought-stricken areas such as the middle belt and the northern parts of the country with flooding increasingly threatening low lying cities and coastal communities and directly impacting hundreds of thousands of people each year.
“These risks and many other more are indications that Ghana should not address development as business as usual but rather translate these risks to opportunities for policy responses that will put the structures of the Ghanaian economy on climate resilient footings”, Prof Frimpong-Boateng stated.
He expressed the hope that the proactive measures by the government through its ministries, departments and agencies in responding to the threats of climate change including the development of the national climate change policy, and its master plan, the national climate change adaptation strategy, the low carbon development strategy and the REDD policy would all go a long way to help address the threats.
Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Minister for Planning, commended the EPA and its mother Ministry for leading the process of planning properly to mitigate climate change impact.
He said effective and sustainable climate adaptation measures was dependent on sound research and therefore, climate science analysis, complete with projections and scenarios must be the basis for planning and integrating adaptation strategies into the national development frameworks and policy.
“The NAP Project we are launching today, must address the national climate data and information gap.
Dr Antwi Boasiako Amoah, NAP Project Coordinator, said the project seeks to help avoid haphazard adaptation planning and also to reduce the vulnerability of the people.
He said NAP was country driven, as it builds on adaptation efforts and indigenous knowledge.
“The goal is to produce an adaptation strategy for Ghana and provide the tools, mechanisms, systems and information with which to replicate the NAP process into regular interactions and into district development plans”, he said.
He said in the implementation of the NAP, the private sector has been identified as strategic partners while gender issues had been also factored.
Mr Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator, commended Ghana for the bold initiative to set the country on the right path towards responding to climate change and “to locate this as the front and centre in Ghana’s ambitions for self-reliance and progress”.