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Ghana - 05 July, 2023
The past few years have not only witnessed unpredictable changes in climatic elements but also marked variations in weather scenarios particularly in Ghana’s multi-functional cocoa-forest landscape. This mostly driven by irresponsible practices including illegal farming, illegal logging and unsustainable mining. This is more evident in climate change effects on livelihoods, and main economic activities including cocoa production and the environment in general.
As attested by a student, “though I am 17 years, when I was much younger, weather conditions were good and soils were fertile for cocoa production. Large articulator trucks used to cart bagged cocoa beans from my father’s village of about ten hamlets to nearest warehouses. These days, yields have dwindled to the extent that, tricycles are now the dominant means of loading cocoa to nearby warehouses”.
Several actions initiated both internally and/or externally have been introduced to minimize climate change while enhancing adaption measures. Most of these initiatives largely targets aged men and women in various capacities i.e., as stakeholder, actors, policy makers etc. to the neglect of youth and children who stands to suffer more from climate change impacts in the future. Youth in the Juaboso-Bia/Sefwi Waiwso landscape have demonstrated willingness in actions aimed at responsible and sustainable environmental management and climate change. For instance, youth in schools are always at the center stage of Green Ghana Project which aims to restore the lost forest cover of Ghana and to contribute to the global effort to mitigate climate change. Similarly, students share messages to inform practices on commemorative days including International Day of Forests.
The Green Livelihoods Alliance Programme in collaboration with these schools have taken a further step by forming and/or adopting Climate Change/Environmental clubs in 11 Junior High Schools, 3 Senior High Schools and 1 Teacher Training College in the landscape. This will offer platform for developing youth capacity in climate change issues and as well court their support for campaign on sustainable practices. Again, these clubs will serve as interface between their respective larger student bodies, and other actors with responsibility on climate change actions.
On our regular GLA - Youth Clubs engagements, the student clubs have initiated actions to develop, and implement climate change/environment related actions in the coming months. Where possible, Tropenbos Ghana will collaborate with, and enhance involvement of these student clubs in GLA activities as well as other programmes on climate change. It is expected that, the student clubs will serve as avenue for enhancing the capacity of generations in responsible and sustainable environmental practices, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation actions.