PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2011 Selected
En Français
N°: 166/2011
1 September 2011 [Accra - Ghana]

ECOWAS URGES MEMBER STATES TO IMPLEMENT AGREED MEASURES TO MITIGATE GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS

							
	The ECOWAS Commission on Wednesday, 31st August 2011 in Accra, Ghana called on 
Member States to intensify measures for the implementation of Nationally 
Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) agreed by developing countries to 
reduce the negative impacts of global climate change.

Speaking at the opening of a three-day workshop for capacity building of NAMAs 
by Member States, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and 
Water Resources, Mr. Ousseini Salifou, said “it is necessary for our region to 
avoid repeating the negative experience of the Clean Development Mechanism 
(CDM) and to build capacities for Member States to have positive influence on 
the current mechanism to ensure NAMAs implementation”.

Mr. Ousseini, represented by the Director of the Environment Directorate, Dr. 
Johnson Boanuh, recalled that NAMAs was a concept introduced after Bali Action 
Plan agreed at the international meeting in the Malaysian city, and which was 
presented at global climate change meetings in Postdam (Germany), Copenhagen 
(Denmark) and Cancun (Mexico). This followed the adoption of the United 
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the meeting of the 
Parties to the Kyoto (Japan) Protocol.

“Although the NAMAs concept is being developed and their legal nature is yet 
to be determined, it is obvious that developing countries have voluntarily 
taken NAMAs measures in order to reduce their (Greenhouse Gas) emissions in 
conformity with the provisions of the UN Convention”, the Commissioner 
affirmed.

He said the African continent now has the honour of hosting in Durban, South 
Africa in December 2011, the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN 
Convention, and expressed the hope that ongoing international climate change 
negotiations would be finalized with a consensus that would benefit developing 
countries.

In his keynote address, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and 
Technology, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, echoed the Commissioner’s sentiments, 
urging the “development and implementation of NAMAs in the shortest possible 
time”.

According to the Minister, who was represented by Dr. Benony Kortatsi, a 
director in the Ministry, this is because at the upcoming Durban 
Conference, “all eyes will be on the pioneers that started experimenting with 
making NAMAs concept operational”.

He noted that while the UNFCCC seeks to reduce GHG emissions after 2012 when 
the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires, “progress has 
continued to be slow”, hence the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen “only 
resulted in a non-binding Copenhagen Accord”.

Another concept that has emerged alongside NAMAs, the Minister said, “is 
Measurement, Reporting and Verification or MRV,” adding that this “is 
important not just internationally, but can also help national and local 
governments to develop effective policies” to mitigate the negative 
consequences of global climate change.

He enumerated the mitigation measures undertaken by Ghana including the 
submission of 55 NAMAs to the UNFCCC, noting however that “selection will be 
made to focus on key priority sectors in the near future” based on climate 
benefits alongside costs, barriers, timing and financial opportunities.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director, Ghana, Dr. 
Kamil Kamaluddeen, said the second series of workshops on NAMAs was being 
supported by the UN system as a platform for countries in the ECOWAS region to 
present and discuss their priority action plans and chart a common front 
towards meeting the Cancun agreements on the global climate change phenomenon.

“It is hoped that by drawing on your expertise, this meeting will raise our 
awareness about the challenges we face and the many opportunities ahead for 
collective and collaborative efforts that may slow down (and even halt) the 
process of climate change”, he added.

Mr. Jeremy Webb of the African Climate Policy Centre described the workshop as 
very timely, adding that NAMAs were emerging from the climate change 
negotiations process as an opportunity, not only to address greenhouse gas 
emissions in a nationally appropriate manner, but also “to progress our 
development in key sectors such as energy, agriculture, transport, and 
infrastructure, to name but a few”.

“With around 20 of the over 50 NAMA submissions to the UNFCCC coming from 
Africa, there is a strategic opportunity for Africa to take a lead in this 
area. As such, practical actions resulting in the implementation of NAMAs 
coming out of this meeting will help to this end”, he added.

Dr. Edward Osei Nsenkryire, Chairman of Ghana’s National Climate Change 
Committee, who chaired the opening session of the workshop, said it has been 
established that in general, African countries were likely to suffer the most 
from the negative impacts of climate change since the continent has the least 
capacity to adapt.

To enhance the ability of African countries to cope with climate change and to 
achieve poverty reduction, he said the response measures “must be clearly 
linked with the livelihood of the people”.

Participants of the workshop, jointly organized by the ECOWAS Commission, the 
Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Ghana, UNDP Ghana and 
Johannesburg, are discussing, among others, presentations on the development 
of NAMAs, capacity building for implementation of NAMAs and enhancing 
negotiations in Durban on the Kyoto Protocol regarding financial issues.

A follow-up to the first meeting in September 2010 in Accra, the meeting is 
also discussing capacity building of West African negotiators on Climate 
Change vis-à-vis the positions of countries and major blocks in order to 
enrich Africa’s position in the climate change negotiations.


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