Several farmers in the Upper West Region are now moving away from crop farming to charcoal burning for livelihoods.

Charcoal production is on a large scale in the region and it had become a boiling issue more dangerous than the illegal mining the country is fighting now.

Illegal mining is no more an issue but the danger looming in the region is now charcoal burning and urgent measures are needed to address its menace immediately.

Stakeholders at the launch of Lambussie District Science Policy Platform on Climate Change said economic trees such as the shea and dawadawa as well as some medicinal trees are not spared in the act.

Long vehicles are seen on daily basis carting charcoal to the southern parts of the country and yet, the district Assemblies are only interested in the revenue accruing from charcoal business and traditional rulers are tied lipped about the menace.

Civil society organisations have also turned a blind eye to the dangerous environmental degradation practice ongoing in the communities.

The stakeholders said tree population is diminishing on daily basis and sooner than later the region would be experiencing desert conditions and economic livelihoods would be in danger.

The platform said charcoal burning is degrading the environment and called for the adaption of scientific and technological strategies to improve climate change in the districts.

The action and inactions of the people should be examined thoroughly because apart from the heavy rains in 1963, rainfall had been declining and causing drought on yearly basis.

“Rainfall used to last between four and five months, but it has now declined to three months in a year”, the participants explained.

Government should come out with a policy to address large scale charcoal burning in the region to save the environment from total degradation as long time consequences would be unbearable to the people.

The stakeholders expressed disappointment on the part of government and civil society organisation as well as traditional rulers’ failure to stop the harvest of rosewood which exposed the region to desertification and climate change conditions, the stakeholders said.

The women at the forum called for co-management of issues pertaining to climate change in the district, saying: “the environment is changing, rainfall pattern is changing; it delays to come but ends early”.

Care International is implementing the science policy platform on climate change in the Lambussie District through the Partnership for Rural Development Action, a local Non-Governmental Organisation.

The Platform would network and interact regularly to develop Ghana’s priority and needs adaptation to climate change to feed AfricaInteract at the ECOWAS sub-regional level.

It would also share policy status and options for climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture, identify related research needs and priorities, build capacities enhancing change effects at the local, national and sub-regional levels.

The platform would network to share information technologies, practices, research results, partnership and policies for adaptation to progressive climate change, adaptation through managing climate risk and pro-poor climate change mitigation, share experiences link information to action.

Representatives of 14 government departments and agencies, traditional rulers, civil society and non-governmental organisations as well as security agencies formed the platform.
GNA