A workshop aimed at developing relevant social accountability plans, for monitoring and tracking Ghana’s climate change financing mechanisms and their related programmes in climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and health to promote transparency, has been held in Accra.

The two-day workshop, aimed to provide a platform for participants to share and exchange knowledge on climate change interventions in their operational areas, was organized by ABANTU for Development, a gender and policy advocacy Non-governmental Organization (NGO) and IBIS Ghana, a Danish NGO.

The workshop, falls within the three-year programme implemented by ABANTU for Development and IBIS Ghana, on ‘Promoting Accountability and Citizen Engagement in the Development of Climate Change Policies,’ and also expected to develop an action plan for implementation by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

This is the first of such workshops under the programme, and a response to the threat of climate change to Ghana’s socio-economic and environmental development as evidenced in communities which depend on agriculture and the natural resource sectors for their livelihoods.
It is also a response to the need to promote accountability, transparency and gender responsiveness in the funding mechanisms that are being made available to the Government of Ghana.

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About twenty women and men selected from CSOs, particularly those from the Savannah Ecological Zones, women’s rights organizations and the media are attending the workshop.

CSOs and women’s rights groups represented at the workshop include the Abibiman Foundation; CAN Ghana, Friends of the Earth, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Northsac, General Agricultural Workers Union and the Gender Action on Climate Change for Equality and Sustainability (GACCES).

Delivering her address, the Convener of Women’s Manifesto Coalition (WMC) and moderator of the workshop, Ms. Hamida Harrison, said financing climate actions was a major issue of national concern.

She noted that, although Government of Ghana received some bilateral and multilateral funds, such as the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), to implement different climate change related programmes, there was inadequate information about how they were accessed and utilised by government.

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She further expressed the hope that, the workshop would enable ABANTU, IBIS Ghana and other partners to lay the foundation for a successful implementation of the Democratic Consolidation and Accountable Governance (DCAG) programme (2013-2018) which sought to promote accountability, transparency, gender responsiveness and social justice in the sourcing and utilization of climate funds.

The Deputy Director in charge of Climate Change and Sustainable Development at the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Mr. Peter Dery, disclosed that, the ministry had developed a National Climate Change Policy which provided a national agenda and direction on how to tackle climate change issues and developments.

Mr. Dery said the policy, which covered three main areas, namely Adaptation, which involved coping with disasters of climate change; Mitigation, which involved reducing global warming; and Social Development, which involved promoting social development, took five years to develop.

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On her part, the Programmes Manager of ABANTU for Development, Ms. Ellen Dzah, described climate change as a major gender issue, given the unequal social relationships that characterized experiences, negotiations and impacts in different regions and communities.

According to her, climate change was an on-going phenomenon that put enormous pressure on people living in developing countries, although such countries were not directly responsible for generating the historical greenhouse gases.

She emphasized, in 2010, ABANTU launched the GACCES ― a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to promoting women’s rights and gender equality in climate change issues.

“The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology had also undertaken several programmes aimed at bringing climate change issues and gender aspects to the forefront.

The role of all civil societies, women’s rights organizations and all stakeholders are needed to tackle the impacts of climate change in a holistic manner.” She said.

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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