Ghana and other West Africa countries are to benefit from a € 50 million (fifty million Euros) financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany, to support climate change activities. The utilization of the money and the implementation of the programme would be carried out through the establishment of the West Africa Science Centre for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL). The official signing of the Cooperation of Agreement and Constitution for the Creation of WASCAL took place in Lome in the Republic of Togo on February 10th, 2012 with ministers from Ghana, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, and Togo present.

The Federal Republic of Germany through this initiative aimed at helping countries generate the knowledge and develop the analytical capability in the region on climate change and land resources to design resilient land use system and also develop measures to conserve healthy ecosystem that allow sustainable development in the major river basins to preserve the natural resource base for future generations.

Total cost of the programme is €50 million (Fifty million Euros) from the The science centre will offer research community in West Africa through the partnership Germany expertise on climate change and adapted land management to strengthen the ability in the region to assess the impact of land management policies affecting the wellbeing of the targeted region.

Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), who led Ghana’s delegation for the signing ceremony, said the initiative was an important step towards overcoming the information deficit that still surrounded the issue of climate change that makes logical action difficult.

She lauds the Germany government for their commitment to address climate change issues to reduce the devastating impact on society, calling for a multi-sectoral analysis and policy coherence to tackle it.

The Minister commended the German Government for recognizing the crucial role played by science and research in the quest for ensuring that appropriate solutions to environmental challenges posed by climate change were found.

“By bringing together our distinguished experts from the scientific community in West Africa and Germany, we will be able to map out a regional strategy and strengthen our position in dealing with the climate change,” she stressed.

According to the Minister, Ghana will host the Head Quarters of WASCAL and will ensure that the partners met the commitments to make the initiative a success story in the region.

According to her, Ghana is committed to the fight against climate Ghana and had already provided space for the construction of the offices and residence to house staff of WASCAL. “Ghana is to find a definite solution that harmonizes development with sustainability. The challenge is being able to find and design public policies that effectively reduce climate change while also being economically viable,” she stated.

Ms Sherry Ayittey said her Ministry would ensure that the development agenda of the Ghana Government responded to the emerging trends of global warming and how Ghana could better contribute to the common object and position herself as a leader within the Africa region.

She added that Ghana as a country is desirous of attaining a climate resilient status in her development path is yet to formulate national policy on how climate change should be incorporated into the broad national development agenda such that the use of innovative approaches to tackling the climate challenge while optimizing development is realized. The establishment of the centre would involve a Headquarters in Accra, Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, development of a core research program involving Germany and West African consortia as well as the elaboration of regional nodes of excellence for capacity building.

Source: Daily Democrat

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