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Nine Parliamentarians Exchange Ideas On Climate Change
 
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27-Mar-2012  
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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 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.

Mr Albert Abongo Member of Parliament for Bongo in Upper East Delegation Leader and Chairman, Lands & Forestry) said: “This exchange has been an awakening on climate change”.

Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, MP for Techiman North in the Brong-Ahafo (Ranking Member, Environment, Science & Technology) said “Climate change is a global issue and we should all deal with the challenge".

Gerard Howe, Head of DFID’s Africa Cabinet and Strategy Team in London, said that 'It was a pleasure to meet the delegation and to hear about their commitment to increase parliamentary and public engagement on this long term issue.

The delegates stressed the need for support to develop credible projects and national plans and secure climate finance. Learning how to do this - between the UK and partners - is important to us all.”

Daniel Graymore, Deputy Head of DFID Ghana, said “DFID is committed to national ownership. Supporting political governance and development effectiveness is a core part of our approach. That includes support to Ghana’s national climate change policy framework.”

“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.”

Dr Sean Doolan, Climate Change adviser at DFID Ghana and a resource person to the National Climate Change Committee said "Climate change is affecting development in Ghana now. For example, people are moving now but urban growth does not have to mean urban problems. It is important to learn lessons from experience of flooding and access to services in Accra to help plan settlements emerging with the development of oil and gas. This has been a major theme in discussion last week between Commissioners of the National Development Planning Commission and national and international experts."

The 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).
 
 
 
Source: GNA
 
 

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