This working paper (pdf) analyses policy discussions on climate change and agriculture in Ghana, looking at their origins and what their implications are.
The dominant narrative: mitigating climate change
Agriculture has only recently become a central part of climate change policy discussions in Ghana. Now, climate change is seen as a new, externally imposed, risk that may hinder modernised agriculture as an engine for growth and poverty reduction.
This narrative suggests that Ghana should be helped to access funds and technologies to make the agriculture sector more robust and “climate proofed” to face climate change challenges.The dominant narrative focuses on mitigating the effects of climate change, rather than adapting to it. International funding, as well as national processes and institutions, shore up this argument.
Adaptation: This focus on mitigation is being challenged by counter-arguments from NGOs and some donors. According to them, mitigation efforts mainly benefit those outside Ghana. Instead, policy discussions should focus on making Ghana’s households and industry less vulnerable to climate change by adaptation strategies.
The adaptation lobby has a difficult task. It would involve breaking Ghana’s dependence on external actors for directing and funding climate policy. At the moment, the debate risks being imbalanced, in the absence of an influential and informed response from civil society to promote the adaptation side of the argument.
Photo: Sekondi, Ghana, October 10. Activitists join an international day of advocacy organised by 350.org. From 350.org’s photostream on Flickr