Monday, November 17, 2014

AFRICA IN FOCUS >> Coming up on 18 November, 2014: Deforestation, Climate Change; and Matters Arising(3)

Climate Change; Deforestation; and Matters Arising(3)


There is now what some might consider compelling evidence of the planet warming up.  Evidence recently released by scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has shown that climate change is occurring at a faster rate than the world could ever have imagined.

Statistics from Ghana’s inventory of forestry stock indicate that Ghana has lost a chunk of its forest cover since 1994, despite the inevitable warming of the planet. It is believed that if sufficient attention is not given to redress this imbalance of loss of forest cover, the country will be all the worse for it. This is because lack of forest cover allows direct exposure of sunlight and the sun’s rays to dry up the already-polluted and fast-dwindling water –bodies.

Research indicates that developing countries are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as their livelihoods are highly-dependent on climate-sensitive sectors, such as agriculture. Given that Ghanaian peasant farmers practice rain-fed agriculture, depending on weather patterns for their farming, and tend to include slash-and-burn methods that prove to be unsustainable and harmful to the Earth’s atmosphere, this significantly-contributes to global warming. Consequently, Ghana has witnessed higher temperatures than normal, as well as inconsistent rainfall patterns.

One way in which Ghana has been trying to deal with this has been through the use of the REDD+ mechanism, which is being coordinated by the National REDD+ Secretariat of the Forestry Commission.

On 29 July, AIF commenced what would be a series of editions examining and understanding Ghana, and Africa's forestry sector.

Having established from that programme, and from the 23rd September edition that reprised the issue of deforestation and climate change, that deforestation is a major issue in understanding the sector, we want to dedicate the 24th edition of Africa in Focus from the premise that apart from the fact that deforestation is an acknowledged challenge for the country, what is it that civil society groups like ABANTU are doing to sensitise Ghanaians about its impact on women.

Finally, in looking at the way forward, we will find out why Civil society organisation Civic Response is convening a National Forest Forum, and why it is important in facilitating governance on natural resources, and most importantly, helping nip deforestation in the bud!

Guiding Questions to be answered:
·        What do we still need to know about deforestation, and climate change, and some of the challenges associated with it in Ghana? (Forestry Commission/Forestwatch/ABANTU)
·        What were some of the outcomes of the Forestry Commission’s National Roadshow on REDD, and what is the way forward for the Forestry Commission?
·        What is the National Forest Forum, and how does it help facilitate governance on forests?

Guests in the studio:
Ø  Robert Bamfo, Head of Climate Change Unit, Forestry Commission, Ghana
Ø  Ellen Eyison Dzah, Programmes Manager, ABANTU

On the line
Ø  Samuel Mawutor, Civic Response/ForestWatch @14h00

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