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ICEG calls for sustainable agricultural practices

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The Institute of Climate and Environmental Governance (ICEG) has recommended that, Government should encouraged farmers to adopt sustainable farming techniques.
to improve soil health, reduce water usage, and enhance climate resilience.

The Research Technical Report which was presented by the Executive Director of Institute of Climate and Environmental Governance (ICEG), Mr. Hamza Shiabu Suhini, on ENERGY TRANSITION AND SUSTAINABILITY DELIVERY ARCHITECTURE IN GHANA. THE IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION ON LIVELIHOODS, WELFARE AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN NORTHERN GHANA.

This came to light during Stakeholders Engagement on Energy Transition and Sustainability Delivery Architecture and Report Launched on Environmental and Climate Governance held in Accra.

The Institute of Climate and Environmental Governance (ICEG) motivated by the precarious nature of environmental issues, set out to undertake a study in the region to ascertain how environmental degradation affects agricultural output, livelihoods, and climate change using Kumbungu and Nanton Districts as a case study. A three-stage sampling procedure was employed to select two communities in each district. Sixty-six (66) respondents who were largely farmers were interviewed and the data was analyzed using SPSS and excel.

Northern Ghana is more vulnerable to the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change because, the region is already dry and arid, and it is home to a large number of poor people who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

The report therefore recommended that, there is the need for an enhance regulatory frameworks to minimize pollution, enforce sustainable land use practices, and promote responsible waste management including stricter controls on chemical use, land restoration initiatives, and proper disposal of agricultural and industrial waste.
In addition, Government must Invest in climate-resilient agriculture by promoting the use of drought-tolerant crop varieties, water harvesting techniques, and climate-smart technologies to help farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions and minimize production risks.

ICEG calls for the need to encourage integrated land and water management practices, such as watershed management, soil conservation, and efficient irrigation systems. These measures according to ICEG, would help prevent soil erosion, protect water resources, and maintain ecosystem services.

Again, recommended for an increase in knowledge and awareness about the impacts of environmental degradation on agriculture, livelihoods, and climate change. Provide training programs, educational campaigns, and information resources to farmers, communities, and stakeholders.
Invest in research initiatives to gather data on the impacts of environmental degradation, climate change, and sustainable agricultural practices to provide evidence-based information for policy formulation and decision-making.

Task Politicians to prioritize environmental conservation and make it a central part of their policy agenda. This includes supporting legislation and initiatives that promote sustainable agricultural practices, conservation of natural resources, and climate change mitigation.

The report calls for enhancement in the existing environmental regulations and develop new ones to address the causes of environmental degradation in the agricultural sector. Ensure strict enforcement of these regulations to hold polluters accountable and prevent further degradation of natural resources.

Effectively communicate environmental issues and the importance of sustainable agriculture to the general public. Engage in public awareness campaigns, use various media platforms, and involve local communities in decision-making processes to promote understanding and support for environmental conservation efforts.

Allocate resources to support scientific research on environmental degradation, climate change impacts, and sustainable agricultural solutions. This the report noted would provide policymakers with evidence-based information to guide policy formulation and decision-making processes.

Establish monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track the progress of environmental conservation initiatives and assess their impact on agricultural production, livelihoods, and climate change. Regularly review and update policies based on the findings to ensure continuous improvement and adaptation to emerging challenges.

Policy interventions should prioritize the development of rural areas, improve resource management, and foster inclusive and sustainable growth. Enhancing governance mechanisms, promoting community participation, and strengthening institutions are essential for effectively managing environmental resources and resolving conflicts. Additionally, ensuring equitable access to education, providing educational facilities and resources, and supporting teacher training can improve educational opportunities in rural areas.

Calls for better alternative livelihoods for all the stakeholders; i.e charcoal burners, tree for sale, sand miners etc engaged in degrading the environment.

The Northern Ghana , Institute of Climate and Environmental Governance indicated, is endowed with abundant natural resources, which have played very important roles in the agricultural, industrial, economic and social development efforts of the country.

However, as a result of incessant exploitation of the natural resources to meet the legitimate socio-economic aspirations of the people, adequate care has often not been taken to guard against the depletion and mis-management of the resources adding that, the process of degrading the environment has caused irreparable damage resulting in deforestation, land degradation, air and water pollution, soil erosion, overgrazing, and destruction of bio-diversity among others.

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