Posted by: africanpressorganization | 3 February 2011

Ghana / Participants want early warning system on climate established in West Africa





Ghana / Participants want early warning system on climate established in West Africa


ACCRA, Ghana, February 3, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Participants at a two-day workshop that discussed the mechanism for integrating  environment and sustainable development into policies, programmes and projects have called for the development of an information and early warning system on climate change in order to reduce the vulnerability of various social groups in West Africa.


At the end of the workshop on Friday, 28th January 2011, the participants also recommended that ECOWAS Member States be supported to enable them incorporate the  green economy in their planning and development management. Likewise, they proposed that experts in green economy should define and promote governance models in green economy.


The participants had deliberated on various presentations to the workshop, which  undertook an assessment of sustainable development approach at national and regional levels; climate and the impact of climate change on development sectors in West Africa and their integration into development policies; strategies and programmes as well as sustainable development, green economy and climate-friendly economy.


Other recommendations also called for the establishment of a task force and think tank on key development sectors at the regional level whose membership will be drawn from climate scientists, policy makers and planners and the implementation of a pilot learning process, under the aegis of ECOWAS, to take into account climate change in development issues.


Participants also called for the establishment of an information system on environmental governance under the aegis of ECOWAS.


In addition, the workshop urged regional stakeholders to identify and develop optimal practices, particularly on quick response and early warning, in order to reduce the negative impact while taking advantage of its positive side.  


At the national level, the participants called on the Ministries of National Development Planning, Environment and Finance as well as national institutions established to promote sustainable development to work collaboratively in order to better coordinate sustainable development issues.  

Participants discussed various presentations on sustainable development approach at the ECOWAS Commission, in particular, the case of the Community Development Programme (CDP), environment and sustainable development at the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), the status of sustainable development promotion in some Member States as well as the institutional framework for optimal sustainable development governance in Francophone West Africa.

They stressed, among others, the need to define the requirements for creating a common data to be generated by Member States for better assessment of the Community Development Programme while stressing the need for coordination in order to ensure that the levels of development of Member States and the availability of appropriate structures are taken into account in the National Committees for CDP.

Furthermore, they urged ECOWAS to highlight the link between commerce and environment in the CDP which is being formulated while EBID was encouraged to give priority to the monitoring of carbon markets and support Member States through enhancing their capacity so as to improve their access to those markets.


In addition, the participants proposed that EBID and the ECOWAS Commission should collaborate in building the capacity of Member States in statistical data management on environment and sustainable development.


In addition, they recommended that strategic environmental assessment be encouraged as a tool for promoting the integration of environmental concerns into development polices, programmes and strategies while existing structures should be strengthened and new ones created where they do not exist for a better management of sustainable development issues.


Other recommendations called for measures to ensure the integration of prevention and risk management in development and implementation of policies at both the national and regional levels and the creation of a mechanism for the selection and dissemination of successful adaptation strategies in order to create a pool of knowledge to support the formulation of development policies at regional level.


On sustainable development, green economy and climate-friendly economy, the workshop recommended that the ECOWAS Commission should sensitize Member States and institutions to participate in the process of Rio +20 and involve research departments in the preparatory meetings for Rio +20.

In addition, the workshop recommended that the Aid-for-Trade initiative which seeks to support developing countries to overcome structural limitations and build capacity should adopt a mechanism to deepen relations between commerce, environment and sustainable development. 


The participants would also want ECOWAS, in collaboration with the UNEP, the UNDP and the ADB, to support Member States in the exploitation of opportunities offered by the Green Fund as well as ensure that they are represented in the various negotiation groups on the Fund. 



Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)


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