From 27th to 31st March 2023, Ghana held its National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023. The week-long event was organized by the country’s Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with a range of partners, including UN CC:Learn. It is part of the implementation of Ghana’s National Climate Change Learning Strategy, launched in 2016.
A series of activities were carried out across 5 days in the capital Accra and mobilized Ghanaians around the importance of addressing climate change in order to safeguard livelihoods in the future. The event got extensive media coverage, including TV and radio interviews (examples here and here) broadcasted nationally, which helped carry the message to millions of people across the country.
The event was formally opened by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation during a dedicated ceremony held at Accra’s National Theatre, in front of hundreds of participants. Representatives from multiple organizations, including international development partners, national institutions, such as the Ghana Education Service (GES), academia, as well as youth and traditional leaders also intervened.
Opening ceremony of Ghana’s National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023.
A special edition of UN CC:Learn’s Youth Climate Dialogues flagship initiative followed, bringing together high school students from four Ghanaian schools to discuss climate change impacts and solutions with students from Italy. This exciting exchange allowed both students and teachers from all schools involved to get a different perspective of how climate change is affecting other countries and how the young people perceive and deal with this issue. In addition to the students participating in the exchange, over a hundred Ghanaian high school students attended the Dialogue, enhancing their knowledge.
Youth Climate Dialogue flyer.
A second event specifically targeting high-school students took the form of a climate change quiz, involving four schools, each represented by two young people. The quiz consisted of four rounds of questions, each characterized by a set of different assignments related to multiple aspects of climate change and green economy, to be undertaken within a well-defined timeframe. All classmates attended as part of the public, cheering and supporting their respective champions.
High-school students during the climate change quiz.
Additional events included a symposium on climate change, with interventions from university professors, academicians and representatives of civil society organizations, a street procession across the streets of Accra with messages on climate change, as well as national and community meetings dedicated to awareness raising.
A ceremony concluded the Week and provided an occasion to award a wide range of national and international stakeholders for their commitment to climate change and green economy learning. Among them, a teacher who has participated in the national climate change and green economy teacher training programme organized by MESTI, EPA, GES, with UN CC:Learn and UNDP support, was recognized for its outstanding work for the promotion of climate change and green economy education. UN CC:Learn will support his participation in COP28 of the UNFCCC, in Dubai, UAE, in December 2023, on the occasion of Education Day and related events, to share the experience of Ghana internationally.
The National Climate Change and Green Economy Week 2023 is the second edition of this broad awareness raising initiative, which follows the one held in 2016. This complements the extensive efforts undertaken by the Government of Ghana to integrate climate change and green economy into education across primary and secondary levels.