Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kufuor of Ghana on adaptation and resilience, at the UN

Address by John Kufuor, President of Ghana at the UN, from Accra Daily Mail: …. [I]ncreasingly the consequences of climate change are impossible to ignore by humanity. This heightened awareness should galvanize a global response for immediate, sustained individual and collective action among all the nations.

In Africa and other poor developing countries, climate-change is already making it difficult to guarantee the necessities of life. These countries, including my own Ghana, are already feeling the impact of change resulting from our oft misinformed handling of our environments and also from effluence caused by the industrialized nations. Erratic rainfall patterns, droughts and desertification, floods and other weather-related disasters are directly endangering human life and affecting agricultural productivity, food and water security.

These conditions exacerbate the already gravely handicapped existence of these nations. They retard national efforts to reduce poverty and undermine progress in development as a whole. For example, over the past two years, till last July Ghana’s only hydro-energy suffered from an unprecedented drought causing four of its turbines to be shut down and thereby putting the nation under a virtual blackout.

…Unfortunately, the ability of Africa and other developing countries to respond to this challenge is very limited. General poverty, over reliance on nature, especially in agriculture, little or no access to technology with capacity to adapt to, or mitigate the impact of the change all combine to make these countries highly vulnerable.

…A global vision with global resolve to plan and mobilize resources on an equally global scale for sustained solutions is imperative. This must be the background for our search for adaptability and resilience from vulnerability, which is the theme for today’s colloquium.

…The psychological basis of the facilities must be broadened to include not only assistance for relief and adaptability, but also proactive and efficaciousness for achieving and establishing the integrated long term solutions that the world must achieve for its survival….

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