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Climate Change Threatening Peace & Security -Foreign Minister

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botwe has described Climate change as one of the global crises of our time and a threat to world peace and security.

Addressing dignitaries at the Berlin Climate and Security conference in Germany on Tuesday, She said the socio-economic impact of climate change on the global community is taking devastating toll in the areas of health, agriculture, migration and the general wellbeing of societies, including Ghana, and concerted action is urgently required.

“In Ghana, changes in rainfall pattern have led to water scarcity, drought, and desertification and food insecurity in some parts of the country.  These adverse climatic trends have affected the availability of grazing lands for cattle and have induced movement of pastoralists to farming communities in search of pasture for their cattle. In the process, crops in farming communities are destroyed by the cattle and have resulted in intermittent violent clashes and reprisals between settler farmers and nomadic herdsmen, leading to deaths and internal displacement of people. Such situations continue to create tension in some parts of Ghana. The effects of extreme weather conditions including floods also wreak untold damage to property and livelihoods and often leads to loss of life”.

“Admittedly, climate change has had grave consequences on the existence and livelihood people across the globe. In Ghana for instance, several families up north have migrated down south as a result of droughts and changes in temperature which affect their arable farmlands. These migrants are often vulnerable specially the women and children. Majority of whom end up as head porters (kayayie) or unemployed, in the cities. Their presence in these cities increases pressure on existing infrastructure, which leads to the springing up of squatter settlements”. 

The minister explained that Government of Ghana has also rolled out numerous programmes to help mitigating these problems, “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “One-Village-One-Dam”, and “One-District-One-Factory”, are all geared towards boosting industrialization and rural development as well as building Ghana’s resilience to the impacts of climate change on the citizenry. The free SHS policy by the Government of Ghana also aims at protecting the vulnerable by providing access to alternative means of livelihood through education”

“Regrettably the socio-economic impact of climate change contributes to international tension. Geopolitical changes occur due to the socio-economic impact of climate change on countries, mostly on the global South. It poses economic, political, and military tensions due to the stress it puts on natural resources and undermines the capacity of nations to govern themselves, meet the needs of their people and increase the chances of conflicts”, the minister stated . 

“These tensions discourage investors, who would not want to invest capital in places that are considered high risk areas. Investors are in for profit and so under such conditions they would divert to stable regions where they would maximize returns on their investment. The absence of sustainable investments invariably affects the socio-economic lives of the people. Africa’s youth bulge and unemployment in the face of climatic related challenges could prove quite a daunting task for the continent”.

It is in this regard that Ghana is pleased to be part of the Group of Friends on Climate Change and Security and welcomes its priorities, including the raising of public awareness and boosting the involvement of the United Nations in all climate change related issues. 

CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS RELATED RISKS

“Climate change is no doubt one of the global crises of our time and poses a threat to world peace and security. The socio-economic impact of climate change on the global community is taking devastating toll in the areas of health, agriculture, migration and the general wellbeing of societies, including Ghana, and concerted action is urgently required”.

“In Ghana, changes in rainfall pattern have led to water scarcity, drought, and desertification and food insecurity in some parts of the country.  These adverse climatic trends have affected the availability of grazing lands for cattle and have induced movement of pastoralists to farming” “communities in search of pasture for their cattle. In the process, crops in farming communities are destroyed by the cattle and have resulted in intermittent violent clashes and reprisals between settler farmers and nomadic herdsmen, leading to deaths and internal displacement of people. Such situations continue to create tension in some parts of Ghana. The effects of extreme weather conditions including floods also wreak untold damage to property and livelihoods and often leads to loss of life”.

“Admittedly, climate change has had grave consequences on the existence and livelihood people across the globe. In Ghana for instance, several families up north have migrated down south as a result of droughts and changes in temperature which affect their arable farmlands. These migrants are often vulnerable specially the women and children. Majority of whom end up as head porters (kayayie) or unemployed, in the cities. Their presence in these cities increases pressure on existing infrastructure, which leads to the springing up of squatter settlements”. 

“The Government of Ghana has also rolled out numerous programmes to help mitigating these problems, “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “One-Village-One-Dam”, and “One-District-One-Factory”, are all geared towards boosting industrialization and rural development as well as building Ghana’s resilience to the impacts of climate change on the citizenry. The free SHS policy by the Government of Ghana also aims at protecting the vulnerable by providing access to alternative means of livelihood through education”. 

“Regrettably the socio-economic impact of climate change contributes to international tension. Geopolitical changes occur due to the socio-economic impact of climate change on countries, mostly on the global South. It poses economic, political, and military tensions due to the stress it puts on natural resources and undermines the capacity of nations to govern themselves, meet the needs of their people and increase the chances of conflicts”. 

“These tensions discourage investors, who would not want to invest capital in places that are considered high risk areas. Investors are in for profit and so under such conditions they would divert to stable regions where they would maximize returns on their investment. The absence of sustainable investments invariably affects the socio-economic lives of the people. Africa’s youth bulge and unemployment in the face of climatic related challenges could prove quite a daunting task for the continent”.

“It is in this regard that Ghana is pleased to be part of the Group of Friends on Climate Change and Security and welcomes its priorities, including the raising of public awareness and boosting the involvement of the United Nations in all climate change related issues”. 

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