March 19, 2012

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy and other stakeholders were on Saturday schooled on the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) on Climate Change and tasked to champion environmental protection.

The Parliamentarians were educated on creating the environment in which more informed and appropriate adaptation decisions and practices could be undertaken within the context of sustainable development.

At a High level Interactive workshop in Accra organised by the AAP Ghana Secretariat with the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and the UNDP, the MPs were exposed to developmental planning which must be sustainable resilient to all manner of threats, both climatic and non-climatic in origin.

Mr Winfrey Nelson, AAP Coordinator, explained that a lot had been done in terms of education and awareness creation on Climate Change issues even though the impact was low.

He said engagement with the High Level decision makers, including Members of the Council of State, Parliamentarians, Ministers of State, Chief Executives of Departments and Agencies, Religious Leaders and other stakeholders seeks to mainstream Climate Change issues into governance.

The training, which involves using toolkits to build an environmentally friendly township, also seeks to empower the policymaker to inculcate Climate Change issues in national development.

Students of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, used the coercive power of drama to get the commitment of the parliamentarians into signing a Memorandum of Understanding to Commit to Climate Change.

The MOU obliges the parliamentarians to address Climate Change concerns in Ghana at the highest level.

A copy of the agreement given to the GNA states: “We, Members of Parliament, acknowledge that Climate Change poses one of the greatest threats to the economic and social development of our dear country, Ghana, and the well being of present and future generations.

“In recognition of the need for urgent action to address the adverse impacts of Climate Change and protect human life, nature and property in Ghana and globally,

“We commit to use our position and influence to promote awareness and the integration of Climate Change concerns into national development programmes and ensure that adequate human and financial resources are allocated for Climate Change activities in the country.

The MPs renewed their commitment to champion climate change issues not only at the floor of the House but in their Constituencies, especially during this year’s electioneering campaign across the country.

The AAP was launched in 2008 by the UNDP in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) and with US$92.1 million support from the Government of Japan.

Other Institutions which have so far signed the MOU are Council of State, Government’s Economic Management Team, National Development Planning Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The rest are the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Town and Country Planning, Ghana News Agency, MEST and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Source: GNA