Friday, 19.03.2021 - Saturday, 20.03.2021 - Economic Policy Competence Centre

Climate Change conference

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Economic Policy Competence Centre and its partner Youth Advocacy for Rights and Opportunities organized a two-day conference on Climate Change and Sustainable employment creation from the 19th – 20th March 2021.

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:

  • Financial services and weather-related insurance be rolled out
  • Government should liaise with financial institutions to extend credit and insurance facilities to farmers.
  • Appropriate communication mechanisms including the use of local radio stations broadcasting in local dialect could be used to ensure that climate information and warnings reach the intended farmers on time.
  • Access to information and assistance from extension workers is needed for farmers to modify their cropping systems.
  • Agricultural productivity could be increased by improving distribution channels and access to technology and inputs.
  • Government policy and investments in agricultural water management should focus on community-based small-scale irrigation schemes that improve and sustain water supply for irrigation facilities and dry season farming.
  • Investment is needed in local processing facilities to add value to agricultural products, increase income, and create non-farm jobs.
  • Investment in developing improved food storage methods and facilities to store excess grains produced in good years to buffer against crop failure.
  • Adaptation policies need to focus on expanding non-farming activities
  • Promote positive Youth attitude towards the environment
  • Increase funding for climate change adaptation and mitigation and research
  • Promote Ghana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem placing the youth at the center
  • Livestock production in the north offers the potential to diversify livelihoods in the north and hence decrease vulnerability to climate change.
  • Both adaptation and mitigation measures should comply with the principle of sustainable development and consider its “three pillars”: environmental protection, social development, economic growth

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.

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