The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) is spearheading processes for the development of a national framework for climate services.
The framework is to ensure that accurate and timely climate information is given to end-users including institutions.
To this end, a national consultative workshop on the subject was held in Accra on Wednesday to enable stakeholders deliberate and make inputs toward the development of the framework.
Participants were drawn from government institutions and civil society in the areas of energy, transport, tourism, agriculture, health among others with support from the Global Framework for Climate Services, UNDP, World Meteorological Organization and ECOWAS.
A Deputy Minister for Communications, Vincent Sowah Odotei in his address said given the effects of climate change on various aspects of Ghana’s economy, it is important for the government and stakeholders to collaborate in finding ways to ensure that there exist early warning systems to inform all concerned users about changing weather patterns.
He said the government, as a result, is keen on empowering the Ghana Meteorological Agency to take the needed climate action to enable Ghana to achieve SDG 13 which calls for action to address the threats of Climate Change.
“It is important for Ghana to tailor our climate services to the needs of the end-users. Climate information should respond to the specific needs of users through relevant forecast based on advisory services and decision-making tools,” he said.
While given assurances that the framework will be fully implemented, he said the government will ensure that the progress of the framework’s implementation will be tracked to ensure its success.
The Deputy Minister also indicated that efforts were being made to ensure that the Ghana Meteorological Agency gets sustainable funding for the state to enable it to undertake its services more efficiently.
“The government of Ghana is determined to retool and reposition GMet as the best Meteorological Agency in the sub-region. Government has demonstrated this commitment by procuring a number of equipment, Automatic Weather Stations, Calibration Equipment, Message Switching System as well as Vehicles to support the operations of GMet. We have also initiated processes to amend the Ghana Meteorological Agency Act, 2004 (Act 682) to provide sustainable funding to make the Agency self-sufficient.”
The Director for Environmental and Natural Resources for ECOWAS, Dr. Johnson Boanuh said the ECOWAS is committed ensuring that the government gets a framework for climate services.
He said the ECOWAS has already supported Benin, Togo, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and the Gambia to come up with their respective frameworks.
Dr. Michael Tanu, the Director-General of the Ghana Meteorological Agency, said climate change and the associated extreme weather events such as drought, flash floods, landslides and rising temperatures “threatens our very survival” and there is, therefore, the need for effective systems to to mitigate the impact of these disasters as a matter of urgency.
“Though some work on this has been done in various agencies and institutions in the country, there is the need for collaboration and coordination for resilience,” he noted.