The two-day conference held in Tamale - in the Northern Region of Ghana - was on the theme, Mitigating the Impact of Climate Change on sustainable employment creation. Participants for the conference were from the Academia, Government institutions, Traditional authorities, Parliament, NGOs, and CSOs across the Northern, Upper West, Upper East, North East, and Savannah regions in Ghana.
Panel discussions, presentations, and group breakout sessions centered on assessing the climate smartness of Ghana and its link to youth employment; Threats to Climate-smart decent employment creation in the face of COVID-19; The impact of Climate Change adaptation on sustainable employment creation in Ghana; The economic effects of Climate Change on agriculture and job creation in Ghana, the Northern Ghana example; Climate governance and the achievement of the UN SDGs in Ghana, the role of Parliament.
The discussions revealed that Climate Change is an employment-related issue because it is shaping future jobs and industries. In effect, the political will to mitigate climate change is critical to protect livelihoods and achieving sustainable development goals. Also, the gender dimension to Climate Change is dire as women are heavily represented in small-scale farming and are the visible faces of poverty. Again, Climate Change has given fuel to youth migration in the Northern part of Ghana.
Further, the Northern region is a vulnerability hotspot to Climate Change because of overreliance on agriculture. Agriculture in the Northern region is predominantly rain-fed and climate-sensitive. In effect, increasing temperature, dry periods, erratic rainfall, and extreme events such as drought associated with Climate change are a threat to livelihoods.
As a way forward, the following recommendations were proffered:
In Summary, discussions from the conference pointed to Climate change affecting employment and deepening poverty in Ghana. Hence a vicious cycle of poverty and unemployment will be created in Ghana if mitigating policies are not inclusively formulated and implemented.