The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has reiterated his commitment and that of the entire Akyem Abuakwa State to the Paris Climate Change Accord.
“I am happy to announce that this ancient capital, Kyebi, with the assistance of our development partners, will commence a project to make it a model city for smart sustainable development for the sub-Sahara African context.”
“This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Goal 11 in particular – which aims at making cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable,” the Okyenhene said.
He was speaking at the Royal Dialogue on Climate Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Ofori Panin Palace at Kyebi in the Eastern Region.
“It is our hope that our Smart Sustainable City Project can set a standard for a new development paradigm. Our cities and towns must combine infrastructure and information technology to address socio-economic and environmental problems and solutions for a prosperous future for our people. We are part of the global solution,” he said.
“As part of that I want to see that the children growing up in Kyebi and Ghana will have the same kind of knowledge and passion about our environment as our ancestors did, that will guide them in their decision-making in their future endeavors and leadership. And we will invite all local stakeholders to be part of the transition to a sustainable future.”
The overarching objective of the Royal Dialogue is to provide a forum for reflection and dialogue on Climate Action and the SDGs and define collective actions at the sub-national level to accelerate progress towards the Goals and Ghana’s commitment under the Paris Agreement.
The pre-26th United Nations Climate Change conference (pre-COP26), under the patronage of Osagyefuo Amotia Ofori Panin, is being organized by the SDGs Advisory Unit, Office of the President, and the Okyeman Environment Foundation.
The Okyenhene noted that the Royal Dialogue series was just the beginning of a new era that aggregated the opinions of traditional authority in the global decision-making process.
He said given the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the ambiguity was gone, hence the global community had no more excuses for its inaction.
“Climate change is not a future prediction anymore, it’s a present-day reality with real-life implications everywhere – also here in Kyebi and the Akyem Abuakwa State,” Osagyefuo Ofori Panin said, adding: “We delude ourselves to think a problem that emanates from Ghana will not affect the world.”
“Climate Change is the greatest challenge of our era. A kind of challenge, which differs from any other problem that, as collective humanity, we face today. We do not need to remind ourselves that if it goes on unchecked, the consequences are likely to be catastrophic for human life on earth. We must recognize its importance and urgency. It cannot be swamped by more immediate concerns.”
On the impact of Climate Change, the Okyenhene said it had become more severe in recent times, and that hundreds of millions of people would be forced to confront frequent and increased drought, more deadly storms, and more displaced people, which might lead to political unrest and refugee crises.
Dr. Eugene Owusu, the Presidential Advisor on SDGs, said the time to act to address climate change “is now.”