Thursday, 1 February 2018

DECCMA District Level Engagement: A focus on Climate Change Mainstreaming

By: Prosper Adiku & Ruth Quaye

Mainstreaming Climate change into district plans and budgets took a centre stage last week during the DECCMA Districts Dissemination and Validation workshop (24-25 January) held at the Shekinah Glory Hotel in Sogakope.

Mr. Winfred Nelson of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and DECCMA Ghana took the opportunity presented by the Workshop to educate the district Planning and Budgeting/Finance Officers of the nine Volta delta district and municipal Assemblies on how climate change can be mainstreamed into planning and budgeting processes during the preparation of their short-term (2-year) District and Municipal level Medium Term Development Plans (MTDPs).

Coupled with the research findings shared with the workshop participants which included district officials, traditional leaders and the community representatives, the workshop provides a great opportunity to incorporate DECCMA findings into the MDTPs (which are currently being finalised) of the respective districts in the Volta delta. The presentations were very participatory, and in order to make it more personal, the community participants and district officers first shared and discussed their personal and communal experiences of what climate change means to them.

The discussions lead the participants into thinking of how they can individually and collectively address and promote efforts directed at climate change adaptation and mitigation. On the budgetary aspect, Mr. Nelson reiterated to all present that, they must always try as much as possible to find out things which are being done elsewhere which may not necessarily require much financial obligations but can help the people of their districts in dealing with climate change.
In reaction to issues of mainstreaming climate change participants indicated that though climate change issues are not treated separately in planning and budgeting processes, the challenge arises with the integration process due to the low climate change education and cost associated with climate change considerations. To this Mr. Nelson reiterated the need to be innovative in the integration process by emphasizing on the benefits as well as making use of the opportunities presented by various climate change related facilities to secure funding to implement relevant climate change proposals in their districts.

The two-day District Dissemination and Validation workshop had in attendance District/ Municipal Chief Executives and their Coordinating Directors district assembly officers (budget/finance, planning, engineering, gender and department of agriculture) and a section of residents from the nine DECCMA study districts. The workshop was held to share the preliminary results with the districts and receive inputs to improve the research results. DECCMA findings related to Migration, Adaptation, Governance and Policy analyses as well as vulnerabilities (mostly videos for emphasis) were presented to the district stakeholders who in turn made notable inputs.

Essentially, the meeting was also to touch base with new district level stakeholders and warm them up into the DECCMA project. Though the research has been ongoing and stakeholders have been firmly established at the district level, changes in the district administrative personnel as a result of the recent general elections in Ghana necessitates a renewed efforts to link up with these new stakeholders.

Group photograph of participants at the Workshop

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