A delegation of nine Ghanaian Parliamentarians has returned from an exchange programme to discuss climate change and development with Westminster colleagues and experts in London.
A statement to the Ghana News Agency on Monday said the exchange programme was arranged by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), with the Parliament of Ghana and support from DFID Ghana.
It was in response to a request by Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, Ms Sherry Ayittey, to support Parliament’s engagement on climate change.
The aim of the Westminster programme was to share knowledge on the role of parliamentarians in climate change policy and legislation, to deepen understanding on the implications of climate change for development in Ghana, and to exchange views on matters such as the national budget and cross-government coordination on climate change.
The exchange covered a range of climate-related issues relevant to Ghana’s development in depth, including forestry, urban growth and agriculture.
The delegation met with a number of Parliamentary groups in Westminster, including the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Climate Change and on Agriculture and Food for Development, the Environmental Audit and the Energy and Climate Change Committees, and GLOBE International, an international group of legislators on environment.
The delegates also spent an afternoon examining community-based climate change initiatives with an urban council in London.
The Ghanaian delegation exchanged views with climate experts from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the UK’s Department for International Development, the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and a number of think tanks and civil society organizations. These support work in Ghana and other countries on many aspects of climate change.
The parliamentarians were able to explain how climate patterns affect profitable agriculture and food security in Ghana – in terms of water resources, erratic rainfall patterns, soil degradation and drought periods. They were keen to learn from the UK on how to convey the importance of climate change to ordinary Ghanaians. UK experience has been that messages need to link to the realities that people experience every day.
It is anticipated that the Westminster programme will be followed by further discussion in Ghana, to share experiences with colleagues and other stakeholders.
The Ghanaian delegation consisted of Albert Abongo (Delegation Leader, Chairman, Lands & Forestry); Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi (Ranking Member, Environment, Science & Technology); and Francis Addai Nimoh (Deputy Ranking Member, Environment, Science & Technology).
Others were Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan (Chairman, Food, Agriculture & Cocoa Affairs); Ernest Debrah (Ranking Member, Food, Agriculture & Cocoa Affairs) and Raymond A. Tawiah (Chairman, Environment, Science & Technology).
The rest were Andrews Adjei Yeboah (Ranking Member, Lands & Forestry); David Tetteh Assumeng (Chairman, Water, Works & Housing); Cecilia Abena Dapaah (Ranking Member, Water, Works & Housing).
“Ghana is growing rapidly,” said Dr Camilla Toulmin, Director of IIED. “In a world affected by climate change, it is encouraging to see Government and opposition parties in Ghana consider long-term directions that meet poor people’s needs and empower them.”