By Prosper Adiku and Gertrude Domfeh
The DEltas, vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation (DECCMA) project held its 7th Consortium meeting in Ghana on Sunday July 2, 2017 at The Royal Senchi Hotel. DECCMA is a research consortium of five institutions from Africa, Asia and Europe conducting a comparative research on climate related vulnerabilities in four major deltas namely the Mahanadi and Indian Bengal Deltas (India), the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta (Bangladesh) and the Volta Delta (Ghana) and is jointly funded by International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Launched in May 2014, the DECCMA research is being undertaken in nine districts within the Volta delta in Ghana (South Tongu, Ada East, North Tongu, Keta Municipal, Ada West, Ketu South, Central Tongu, Ketu North and Ningo Prampram) under the leadership of the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana, Legon.
(Image: Honourable Professor Kwabena Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science Technology and Innovation & Prof Kwasi Appeaning Addo)
Special guests at the opening of the four-day meeting included the Minister for Environment, Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Honourable Professor Kwabena Boateng, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, H. E. High Commissioner Heather Cameron and the members and Chair of the National Experts Advisory Group (NEAG) of DECCMA Ghana, Hon. Clement Kofi Humado .
In his welcome statement, the Principal Investigator of the Ghana project team and Director of RIPS, Professor Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe indicated that the Institute has been involved in a number of headline research activities, and has contributed to national activities including the Nationally Determined Contributions (iNDCs) now the Ghana Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Professor Kwasi Appeaning Addo, the head of Department of the Marine and Fisheries Sciences and the Co-PI of DECCMA Ghana elaborated on the role of the project in managing adaptation issues in the country and stressed the need for collaborative efforts in tackling the myriad of challenges in the delta areas.
The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation in addressing participants, reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring the mainstreaming of climate change issues as part of Ghana’s holistic development agenda. He enumerated several government interventions and outlined some plans to avert the recurrent flooding and erosion issues in the delta areas. He noted specifically the National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) as one of the key documents that stipulates government’s direction in relation to climate change issues. He further stressed the role of research, science and technology in dealing with various environmental challenges and urged the DECCMA team on a good job well done while indicating his Ministry’s preparedness to collaborate with and support innovative ideas from the activities of the DECCMA project.
H. E. Heather Cameron (middle) with Hon. Prof. Frimpong Boateng (L) and Prof. Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe (R) during the opening ceremony (Courtesy: Canadian High Commission)
The Canadian High Commissioner on her part expressed her excitement at being part of the DECCMA Consortium in discussing migration and climate change issues and was happy that the IDRC, DFID, the University of Ghana and others from Africa and Asia are collaborating to consider the shared challenges of communities living in delta regions. She was of the view that “cross-border research networks help to advance shared research priorities, and to also bring ideas, expertise and collaborations to advancing understanding at local levels”. Noting that migration and climate change will disproportionately affect women and girls, she was happy that the research consortium has already produced a number of papers on specific gender issues. She remains hopeful that the ultimate agenda-setting of the research consortium will reflect gender issues in similar fashion by helping give women and girls (in the delta regions) the tools and opportunities to be powerful agents of change in creating more resilient communities. She noted that the UK will continue to reinforce investments and strengthen research and innovation as part of its new international assistance policy operations in recognition of the important role of research and innovation in the development process so as to help bring research into policy and practice, and to scale-up innovative solutions that demonstrate development results.
There was also poster presentations highlighting some of the research outputs of the consortium across the various participating countries.
(Image: DECCMA Consortium and Honoured guests)