Media should make education on climate change a priority -Ayittey

Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology

Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, has said the country would best adapt to the harsh effects of climate change when there is intense education on the issue by the media.

“Climate change is a phenomenon that has come to stay with the world, so the public needs to be educated on the nature and how to cope with the situation,” she said.

Ms Ayittey, who said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Tamale, on Tuesday, noted that the media had the clout to school their audience on the subject.

Classifying the society into three groups namely: the researchers, scientists and practitioners as one class; the second class as average people who have attained some high level of education; and the third class as those with no education at all; she said all these could be reached, “through the power of the media”.

She called for frequent education on the effects of Climate Change for the significant majority who include artisans and market women who understand the issue of climate change differently. Ms Ayittey explained that Climate Change was evidenced in patterns of temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind and seasons. “Climate change” affects more than just a change in the weather; it refers to seasonal changes over a long period of time,” she explained. “These climate patterns play a fundamental role in shaping natural ecosystems, and the human economies and cultures that depend on them,” she said.

Ms Ayittey said because so many systems are tied to climate, a change in climate could affect many related aspects of where and how people, plants and animals live, such as food production, availability and use of water, and health risks.

She said the impact of global climate change on West Africa was already noticeable and although projections differ in detail, they agree in their general assessment of increasing weather extremes – longer droughts, shorter but heavier rainfall periods and delay of the onset of the rains.

“Crops like cocoa and even the fisheries sector have already been affected by climate change,” Ms Ayittey said, calling on all stakeholders to be involved in solving the problem. She said Ghana was looking forward to a harmonious and well coordinated system of effectively managing climate change, expressing strong belief that climate change will have an effect in Ghana in the years ahead. Ms Ayittey named climate change as the greatest challenge to development in Ghana and pointed out that the situation presented one of the greatest risk to the poor and vulnerable, especially women and children in rural areas.GNA

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