(By Afedzi Abdullah /Grace Darko, GNA)
Accra, May. 31, GNA – The Centre for Coastal Management (CCM) of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), is holding an intensive training course on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Coastal Areas at Anomabo in the Central Region.
The five-day workshop, organised in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),is being attended by professionals working on coastal economies, spatial planning as well as planners and disaster management officials at the district ,regional and national levels.
The course is designed to bring to the fore climate change impacts on the coastal resources and to build the capacity of stakeholders to understand the science and implications of eroding beaches.
Participants would be taken through field activities on climate change vulnerability assessment, presentations in coastal Ecosystems, the Science of climate Change, Climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation and communication of climate change issues.
The overall aim is to upgrade the participants’ knowledge on climate change adaptation through scientific methods and approaches such that they would be well equipped to include climate change impact considerations into their work in terms of development planning.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Denis Worlanyo Aheto,Project Manager and Director of CCM,UCC, explained that the workshop was necessitated by the fact that climate change was affecting most communities as seen with intermittent floods, seasonal drought and increasing land and water temperatures.
He said stakeholders at the training were expected to be advocates in terms of spatial development planning and disaster management in their respective districts, regional and national levels.
Mr Aheto expressed disgust about the unregulated rapid development along the coast lines where people were felling down coconut trees and mounting strictures for entertainment and recreational joints.
He said eroding beaches were not only as a result of climate change but due to some natural human action such as sand winning which does not stabilize the coastline but only exacerbate the impact of climate change.
« Climate change is happening but our own activities is further degrading the coast lines, issues of pollution, sand winning and the recent springing up of structures along the beaches all contribute to degrading the coast line » he said
Dr Aheto called on the district assemblies, Environmental Protection Agency, Town and Country Planning and all relevant stakeholders to collaborate and take urgent measures to clump down on such activities.
He said the coastlines must be properly managed for the benefit of conservation and the economy adding that, development could not be left in the hands of individuals who wanted to do business.
« Elsewhere the coastlines are very prestige areas. What is appertaining at our beaches is completely an eye-saw, it is not good for tourism and cannot promote our tourism industry » he added.
Dr Aheto said the UCC, CCM will collaborate with relevant departments and institutions to ensure that the coastlines were protected.
Professor John Blay of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences said climate change and its related impacts had implications for food security with regards to fishing and that measures should be taken to address it.
He described the training course as excellent and timely due to the fact that many coastal communities in the country were vulnerable to situations such as flooding that might occur in coastal zones.