Climate Change related issues are not prioritised as state and non-state actors stakeholders consider it as non- issues in spite of its devastating impact on agriculture and other sectors of the economy.
ActionAid and Abantu for Development are of the view that time has come for all stakeholders to pay much attention to the distressing impact of climate change, particularly as women farmers are the most affected. They are therefore rallying public support to ensure that climate change related conversations are put on the front burner during public discourse.
The Government of Ghana as a member of the UNFCCC, has actively participated in CoP processes and signed on to its various agreements and protocols. Based on those commitments, the country has initiated several actions to support climate change adaption in Ghana such as the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP), Ghana’s Climate Change Adaptation Policy, and recently, Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions (GH-NDCs).
However, one area where this is very crucial is the inter-relationships between climate change and agroecology. In Ghana, about 70 per cent of the total land area is used for agriculture with about 70 per cent of the population depending directly or indirectly on the sector. This means that if agriculture must remain sustainable, then a bottom-up approach which helps to deliver contextualized solutions to local problems has to be prioritised.
It is in view of the above st that, ActionAid in partnership with Abantu for Development commissioned a research to analyse the key issues of Ghana’s Climate Change Adaptation Policy in relation to Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture.
At a forum to disseminate the findings of the research and discuss key issues in Accra recently, participants maintained that agroecology places a strong focus on the right of women, youth and the root cause of problems in an indigenous people. Therefore by enhancing the autonomy and adaptive capacity, agroecology empowers producers and communities as key agent of change.
In an address, Hajia Azumi Mesuna, POWER project manager, ActionAid Ghana explained that the workshop was specifically meant to move the topic of agroecology from research to dialogue as a component to ongoing initiatives to integrate biodiversity ecosystem services in Agriculture.
According to her, the forum was also to facilitate the development of a roadmap to support and input into the review of the Ghana Nationally Determined Contribution (Gh-NDCs), while identifying potential partners for cooperation mechanisms, including civil society organizations and the private sector, to enable the country to benefit from the expertise and experience of others in the area of agroecology and its links with climate adaptation.
She told participants, “Our partnership towards the organization of the dissemination workshop of agroecology which is expected to lead us towards development of a national policy on agroecology is therefore not only directly embedded in the UNFCCC process, but as well in Ghana’s commitment in both the agriculture and women’s right and gender equality sectors.”
She pointed out that the forum would, “afford both organizations, policy makers and stakeholders the opportunity of negotiations on proactive and consolidated positions towards an equitable outcome on agroecology as key adaptation consideration for sustainable development and the advancement of women in Ghana.”
The forum brought together women farmers, civil society organizations, Farmer Based Organizations, the Academia, some government agencies, the media amongst others.