Human activities such as cutting down of forests, improper waste disposal, use of fertilizers, burning of coal and petroleum products and gas (fossil fuels), continue to have a brunt on the environment. These are leading to changes in average weather conditions such as temperature and rainfall, affecting natural resources and livelihoods.
Community engagement and sensitization is recognized as critical to the global response to climate change. In this regard, the National Designated Authority (NDA), which is the Economic Strategy and Research Division (ESRD) at the Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Green Climate Fund Readiness Support is carrying out outreach at the sub-national level. The exercise is to engage key stakeholders, sensitize and disseminate information on the Green Climate Fund (GCF) processes in selected local languages (Dagbani, Ewe, Ga and Twi) in pilot districts in Ashanti, Volta, Northern and Greater Accra regions of Ghana. The aim is to improve the understanding on the GCF’s funding process to enhance stakeholder engagement and direct access to the fund, to accelerate climate actions in Ghana.
“When I hear of climate change, I always ask myself what exactly it is. Today, I understood what it is and realized that it is our activities that are affecting the environment, so we must change our behaviours”, noted Ophelia Yeboah, Ashanti Regional President of the National Association of Cosmeticians and Hairdressers.
The dissemination outreach targets key stakeholders including women and youth groups, district assembly officers, civil society organisation representatives, community leaders, and representatives of the regional coordinating councils.
Nana Afum Amoah Agyako II, the Sub-Chief (Kontihene) of Asante Achim Domeabra in the Agogo District of the Ashanti Region, commended the sensitization efforts, noting that it has improved their understanding of climate change and global efforts to mitigate the impacts.
“We are destroying the environment and suffering the consequences. It can only take us to revert the situation and it is good to know that community involvement in projects supported by the Green Climate Fund is key. I am also happy to know that we can also access the fund by working on proposals”, said Nana Amoah Agyako.
The Green Climate Fund was established by 194 governments to support efforts of developing countries in responding to the challenges of climate change. In line with this, Ghana obtained Readiness Support from the GCF to strengthen the capacity of the National Designated Authority, which is the Economic Strategy and Research Division at the Ministry of Finance. The support is to enhance the NDA’s capacity in coordinating and monitoring climate finance, stakeholder engagement, enhancing direct access and mobilizing resources from the private sector.
As required by the GCF, the dissemination outreach improved the participants' understanding of climate change, created awareness on the GCF projects submission processes (no-objection procedures) in local languages and related actions such as stakeholder engagements and country programming in relation to Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The facilitators at the outreach includes Mr. Kingsley Amoako, a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the NDA, from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Mr. Foster Gyamfi and Mr. Robert Mensah, both from the NDA/ Ministry of Finance.