Prof. Marian Dorcas Quain (inset), Deputy Director-General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, addressing participants in the symposium Prof. Marian Dorcas Quain (inset), Deputy Director-General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, addressing participants in the symposium
 Prof. Marian Dorcas Quain (inset), Deputy Director-General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, addressing participants in the symposium

Climate change cause of migration in Upper West, Savannah regions — Study

A project on climate change has revealed that changes in weather conditions have caused more people to migrate from the Upper West Region and some parts of Savannah to other regions for better livelihoods.

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The research also found out that climate change was changing gender roles in both positive and negative ways. Titled: ‘The Resilience Against Climate Change-Social Transformation Research and Policy Advocacy (REACH-STR), the six-year project was to understand how social transformation affected migration in 21 communities within seven districts in the Upper West and Savannah regions of Ghana.

A Research Scientist at the CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute, (CSIR-STEPRI), Dr Portia Adade Williams, at a policy symposium in Accra, explained that the project was also identifying such programmes and activities and assessing how they enhanced climate resilience, reduced migration and improved gender roles.

Symposium

The symposium was on the theme: "Advancing Evidence-Based Policy Through Effective Collaboration". It was hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-STEPRI, in partnership with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

Funded by the European Union, it was also supported by the University of Ghana-Centre for Migration Studies and the Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS).

Farming

Dr Williams explained that the increase in migration was due to climatic conditions which was affecting farming activities, the mainstay of their economy, emphasising that women were bearing the brunt as men migrated more.

Participants in the symposium

Participants in the symposium

“Men are migrating and it puts a lot of toll on women. However, if there is low productivity, we see the women mostly going into agro processing activities. “Also, low productivity and yields drive the idea of improving livelihoods with a number of programmes and activities,” she said.

“We talked to some district assembly officers and actors that are key in development planning activities to see how such programmes are helping, but there were challenges such as funding, coordinating issues and implementation,” she said.

She indicated that the challenges presented an opportunity to leverage and improve upon policy programmes. “That is why for the symposium, we have different stakeholders gathered here to understand what is happening at the sub-national level to see how to inform and improve policy development processes,” she said.

Project

The Director of CSIR-STEPRI, Dr Wilhemina Quaye, said the REACH-STR Project was aimed at building the capacity of project partners, students, researchers and development planning professionals at various levels, and ensuring active community level involvement in developing social transformation research methodologies and data tracking modules and tools.

She indicated that a social transformation approach in policy development was crucial to building resilience to climate change.

Food security

The Deputy Director-General of the CSIR, Professor Marian Dorcas Quain, said in tackling climate change, an integrative approach must be adopted, such as bringing together stakeholders from different sectors of the government, academia, civil society, and the private sector to share knowledge and expertise.

“Also, engaging local communities ensures our policies are based on real experiences and address the unique needs of those most affected by climate change. Promoting social transformation is about redesigning societal norms, behaviours and institutions to promote resilience and sustainability,” she said.

She added that it was crucial to prioritise evidence-based approaches, foster effective collaboration and champion social transformation. 

“Together, we can build a future where Ghana is resilient against climate change and the dynamics of its impacts; a future where policies are informed by the best available evidence and shaped by the participatory input from diverse stakeholders,” she said.

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