Professor David Millar, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of University for Development Studies (UDS), says in the face of the devastating effects of climate change, Ghana is yet to develop a national policy direction to fight the menace.
He said in order to effectively reduce the effects of climate change and derive the maximum benefits from the environment, Ghana needs to fast-track the draft document on the phenomenon into a policy. This will help the country to reduce poverty, and promote agricultural production and sustainable livelihood.
Prof. Millar was speaking in Tamale on Wednesday, during the opening ceremony of the 2013 Harmattan School, which was organised by the Centre for Continuing Education and Inter-Disciplinary Research of the (UDS).
This year's celebration, which is the seventh in the series, was on the theme: "Accelerating Socio-economic development in Northern Ghana, through culture and climate change adaptation," brought together diverse people from various backgrounds.
Prof. Millar said the country had over the years relied on international conventions and treaties in the fight against climate change, and expressed the need for the use of local policies that take into consideration the culture of the people.
He said the harmattan school, which is an annual event, gives suggestive practical policy directions, and brainstorms on the best possible means to contribute to the development of the country, especially, about the developmental challenges facing Northern Ghana.
Prof Harruna Yakubu, Vice Chancellor of the UDS, said the University was persistent in its efforts to improve on the socio-economic needs of its catchment communities. He said the positive cultural and climate change adaptation strategies could fast-track development in northern Ghana.
He called for the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation to the national development policy framework, and the employment of cultural and climate change adaptation, as a tool to advance socio-economic development.
Prof. Yakubu noted that over-dependence on rain-fed and widespread poverty had exacerbated the impact of climate change.
Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, caretaker Northern Regional Minister, observed that the country was still confronted by shadows of out-dated cultural practices, coupled with climate change, resulting in higher temperature variations, and changes in rainfall patterns.
He said the influx of foreigners into the country had not only reduced Ghanaians' access to our natural resources, but brought about conflicts between migrant Fulani and the indigenes.