President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday said climate change must be seen as a developmental issue and not an environmental problem because it impacts all aspect of social lives.

He said due to this, Ghana has since 1992 targeted climate change issues as very important and designed various mitigation programmes to help people cope with its impact.

Speaking at the launch of a guidebook for journalists on climate change in Africa, President Mahama in a speech read on his behalf said Ghana was also collaborating with various development partners such as Japan to integrate climate change mitigation into various sectors through training of stakeholders.

He said officials of the meteorological agency were being trained to be able to provide early warning signals of rains to enable people to prepare adequately.

The 91-page guidebook will direct journalists in Africa on how to report climate change issues accurately for better understanding of the people.

The guidebook was prepared by UNESCO, in collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Internews/Earth Journalism Network, based on a research and a consultative process that included journalists from 17 African countries.

It is in response to findings that indicated gaps in the coverage of Climate Change and its impact on the livelihoods of people in Africa.

Over 100 dignitaries from the academia, government institutions, diplomatic community and media attended the event.

The guidebook targets journalists, editors, teachers and media trainers and is expected to deepen journalists? understanding of key concepts in Climate Change reporting and to improve coverage on Climate Change.

President Mahama said since the media could play an effective role when provided with requisite information, the guidebook, therefore, comes in handy to help journalist to educate and disseminate the information about climate change and to communicate properly.

Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education, who is also the Chairperson of Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, said as the intellectual engine of the world, UNESCO developed the guidebook to help close the gap on climate change reporting and its impacts in Africa.

She said since climate change affects everybody, it needed global solutions and the transmissions of accurate information, which can help address issues from climate change.

Mr Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association, said the guidebook is critical in helping build capacity of journalists in reporting accurately on issues of climate change.

Mrs Ama Kudom-Agyemang, an Environmental Communication Consultant, said the guidebook is ?a tool kit for self tutorship? which will help journalists accurately report on climate change.

She said research carried out in the Ghanaian media and that of Africa in general indicated that media gives limited coverage on climate change issues but with the guidebook, journalists will get a lot more to report on. GNA


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