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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Ghana to transform climate change policy into laws: official        

ACCRA, (Xinhua) -- To ensure unhindered enforcement of its Climate Change policy, government of Ghana seeks to transform these policies into legally Mandatory Instruments (laws), a senior public official has said.

In an interview with Xinhua after the one-day Stakeholder Engagement for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness and Closure here on Friday, Peter Dery, Head of Climate Change and Sustainable Development Unit of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation explained that until these regulations were turned into laws it would be difficult to enforce them.

“The issue has to do with enforcement. What we are beginning to do now is to turn the policy into legally mandatory instruments like laws. So we are looking at for example revising the Building Code to ensure that some of the things in the policy reflect in the new Building Regulation,” Dery disclosed.

Furthermore he said the government was looking at revising some of the existing laws including the Legislative Instrument (LI) which regulates environmental permits to compel people coming for environmental permits to meet certain conditions.

“And equally in the energy sector some laws are being revised to ensure that we put in all these things,” he added.

According to Dery, the West African cocoa, gold and oil exporter had undergone the GCF Readiness program and had by that been able to build a number of capacities and strengthened a number of institutions including those that will undergo the accreditation process to become national implementing entities for the GCF.

“There are a number of activities that have been ongoing in terms of climate change. The first is ensuring that we have policy coherence, a policy document that tells us where we are going. So with this, any institution that seeks to help Ghana, by picking up that document will understand what the country wants to do,” he added, indicating that the next action is to mobilize funding to be able to implement climate change programs.

Adwoa Fraikue, Head of Natural Resource, Environmental and climate change at the Ministry of Finance, said since Ghana recognized its vulnerabilities from the impact of climate change it had been working hard to mitigate the impact even before the GCF was instituted.

“We are aware of rainfall destroying our agriculture; rainfall having negative impact on our generation of power; we are aware of flooding affecting our cities and villages; sea erosion washing away our coastal communities; and the destruction of infrastructure,” she maintained.

The destruction of food crop and non food crop farms by floods as well as the inability to generate the needed power for industrial use, according to Fraikue were all economic realities that climate change had imposed on the country .

With the two-year Readiness program completed, she was optimistic that the country was ready to access funds from the GCF to implement some of the adaptation and mitigation  programs it had drawn up.

“We can still access the funds through the multilateral entities like United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). We have about three projects that we have sent concept notes on to the Fund.

“One is on Renewable Energy; one is REDD+(Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) being run by the Forestry Commission; and the other one is Resilient Agriculture. In all if they get approved then 310 million U.S. dollars will be made available to the country.”

           

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