Land rehabilitation key to tackling climate emergency – Deputy Environment Minister

The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and leader of Ghana’s delegation to the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14), Mrs. Patricia Appiagyei, has said land rehabilitation is one of the single most impactful ways to tackle the climate emergency.

She noted that there is the need to capatilize on the growing political momentum behind initiatives such as the Great Green Wall.”

The Deputy Minister explained that the projected impacts of climate change include decreased livestock productivity due to heat stress and changing distributions of pests and diseases.

Also, she said it brings about a redistribution of the potential catch of marine fisheries away from tropical countries, which poses the risk of reduced production, income, employment and, hence, food security; and a loss of forest cover, which will both contribute to further climate change and threaten the livelihoods of communities dependent on forest resources.

She said, “A comprehensive investment package is needed to address general challenges posed by climates such as investment in agricultural research, water management, marketing infrastructure, investments in irrigation, water-use management and improved soil management as part of a strategy for addressing climate change.”

Mrs. Appiagyei, said these in an interview at the sidelines of the ongoing 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14), to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, in New Delhi India.

The Member of Parliament for Nhyiaeso Constituency in the Ashanti Region, who is also a member of Ghana’s delegation, Mr. Kennedy Kwasi Kankam, also noted that it is about time “we walk the talk on desertification and land restoration.”

“Major policy interventions and management approaches are needed to prevent and reverse desertification. Assessment of future scenarios shows that major interventions and shifts in ecosystem management will be needed to overcome challenges related to desertification” he added.

Mr. Kwasi Kankam explained that it is human efforts that will undo the damage and improve the habitats. “This situation requires a strong political decision, which in turn requires great solidarity and frank international collaboration” he stated.

“Our meeting here now is to ensure that this happens” he emphasized.

He said the one-man; one tree agenda is achievable and must be secondhand by African’s. “It is not that we do not have enough money in Africa, maybe governments alone can’t do enough but if we work together with the private sector we can make again. We are fast running out of time to build our resilience to climate change and achieve all other Sustainable Development Goals.”

The 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification brought together representatives from the African Union Commission, Government Ministers including those from countries participating in the Pan African Agency for the Great Green Wall Initiative; Prime Minister’s, Heads of COP Delegation from UNCCD parties, the UN, IGOs, regional actors; private sector stakeholders; civil society organisations and Great Green Wall Champions.

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