Over 1,500 people participated in a Green Marsh through Accra and a symposium for youth at the National Theatre. During the week, Ghana also launched the National Climate Change and Green Economy Learning Strategy 2016-2025.

24-28 October 2016 – As Ghana gears up to the national elections in December, over 1,500 people participated in a Green March through Accra and a symposium for youth at the National Theatre. Climate change and green development is indeed high on the agenda in Ghana, which is committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% relative to a business-as-usual scenario by 2030, and by 45% if external support is provided.

At a public event on Wednesday, political parties were questioned to what extent their manifestos are up to the challenge of addressing emission reductions and – critically – increasing the resilience of those most affected by the impacts of global warming. The discussions were moderated by the popular radio anchor Bernard Koku Avle who did not hesitate to put party representatives on the spot with regards to ‘coal versus renewables’, the banning of plastic bags and the link between green economy and poverty reduction (See also UNDP news article).

Policy dialogue on climate change. The 200 people that came to listen to the debate and raise their concerns.

While the policy debate gave an opportunity to those already interested in green issues to hear about the different party positions, the Week also aimed to reach out to those that are usually far from the climate change discussion. At an event in Chorkor, one of the most vulnerable communities in Accra district, over 300 locals gathered to get a better picture of how some of the changes they had observed themselves are related to a global phenomenon. Many, in particular the youngsters, came to listen to Stephen Appiah, a national soccer star, who led the Ghana National Team to their first World Cup participation as captain in 2006. Appiah who is actually from Chorkor himself committed to mobilize support for local climate action as Ghana’s new Climate Change and Green Economy Ambassador.

Soccer star Stephen Appiah (center) with local chiefs in Chorkor.

The Week cumulated in the launch of the National Climate Change and Green Economy Learning Strategy 2016-2025. The strategy was developed through a 15-months consultation process under the leadership of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is structured around the five priority areas of Ghana’s National Climate Change Policy and makes a direct contribution to the implementation of the country’s National Determined Contribution. 13 priority actions are put forward for which national and international support is sought. Asked about the way forward, Peter Dery from MESTI stressed: “This strategy has been prepared by Ghanaians for Ghanaians and will be implemented by Ghanaians.” (See also UNDP news article).

Ben Asomani of MESTI launching the Ghana’s Climate Change and Green Economy Learning Strategy. (Photo credit: Solomon Nartey, FIM Multimedia)

At the launch event, Dr. Emmanuel Tachie-Obeng who spear-headed the development of Ghana’s learning strategy was appointed to join the team of UN CC:Learn Ambassadors for Climate Change Learning. He was congratulated by his peer Bob Natifu from Uganda, who had accompanied the strategy development process in Ghana since the inception workshop in August 2015, sharing the experience of his own country.

The Climate Change and Green Economy Week was organized by MESTI and EPA with support of UN CC:Learn.

More photos of the event available here.

Amrei Horstbrink, UNITAR with the two Ambassadors for Climate Change Learning,  Dr. Emmanuel Tachie-Obeng (left) from Ghana and Bob Natifu (right) from Uganda.

About UN CC:Learn

UN CC:Learn is a partnership of more than 30 multilateral organizations supporting countries to design and implement systematic, recurrent and results-oriented climate change learning. At the global level, the partnership supports knowledge-sharing, promotes the development of common climate change learning materials, and coordinates learning interventions through a collaboration of UN agencies and other partners. At the national level, UN CC:Learn supports countries in developing and implementing national climate change learning strategies. Through its engagement at the national and global levels, UN CC:Learn contributes to the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC on training, education and public awareness-raising, and the 2012-2020 Doha Work Programme.  Funding for UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government and UN partners. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is hosted by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).