Ghana, on Tuesday, opened a consultative meeting to establish an African Youth Academy on Climate Change to educate and build the capacity of stakeholders especially the youth on climate change issues and carbon pricing.
The Academy, when completed would equip the youth from different regions in Africa particularly, least developed nations with knowledge to help in the reduction of the effects of climate change.
Mrs Patricia Appiagyei, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, explained that the Academy among other functions would facilitate and prepare the youth for active contribution to the negotiation process to make more informed decisions for national implementation.
She said it would also inform lawyers and social innovators on issues relating to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed in 2016 to deal with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance.
The Deputy Minister explained that the establishment of the Academy was in line with a decision made by Government during the Regional Climate Change week hosted in March 2019 in Ghana.
Ghana after engaging in deliberations with the UN Climate Change and Regional Collaboration Centre agreed to establish the Academy.
Mrs Appiagyei noted that the consultative meeting was therefore to enable stakeholders to deliberate on the different kinds of carbon pricing instruments that existed and the steps government had to take in that regard to reduce climate change and foster national growth.
The meeting brought together representatives from the public and private sector, civil society organisations, training institutions, and technical and financial partners.
In April this year, she disclosed that Ghana anticipated to receive endorsement for the establishment of the Academy at the observation of the African Climate Week in Kampala, Uganda.
On her part, Ghana and Africa as a whole were facing unprecedented climate crisis, with obvious signs.
She believed it was necessary to explore relevant initiatives to specific national circumstances for the nation to achieve her goals set in line with the Paris Agreement.
"I also expect this Academy to be innovative in a way that aims at engaging different youth groups and at the same time tries in a manner that, courses delivered ensure training followed by practical activities, mentoring and on-line training," she said.
Ghana would offer her 13 research institutions and agencies as practical grounds for training and mentoring of experts from African countries, she said.
Mr John A. Pwamang, the Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said Ghana was the best place to host the Academy due to its location as the gateway to Africa coupled with her tradition of long-standing peace, security, stability and hospitality.
As part of measures to build resilience and ensure low carbon economy, he said, Ghana in response to the Doha Work Programme on 'Article 6' of the Convention and 'Article 12' of the Paris Agreement developed a National Climate Change and Green Economy Learning Strategy and started implementing its learning actions.
Government also integrated climate change into primary school curricula in collaboration with the National Council for Curricula Assessment and the Ghana Education Service, he said.
Mr Pwamang noted that the step was an early-life intervention and a foundation to shape the behaviour of children and enhance the value of the environment.
He said, 600 primary school teachers, and administrators from public, private schools were trained by the EPA on climate change for effective teaching and learning of the indicators of the new primary school curricula.
Mr Moubarak Moukaila, the Coordinator of the Regional collaboration Centre, Lome, Togo; said at the end of 2020, about 20 per cent of Africans would be under 20 years old, therefore it was necessary to inculcate the habit of protecting the environment in them.
Mr David Abbass, the Team Lead of the Global Climate Action, Bonn, Germany, said climate change was a tremendous challenge to growth in Africa and threatened all progress made to promote development.
He called for a collaborative effort to successfully implement the initiatives.