Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, Vice Chancellor at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, has emphasized the urgent need to address climate change to prevent catastrophic consequences for the food and agricultural sector.
Speaking at the Environmental Sustainability Summit 2023, he highlighted the expected widespread and intricate effects of climate change on food systems, which are influenced by socioeconomic conditions and vary geographically and temporally.
The summit, attended by experts and technocrats from various fields, focused on the theme “Climate Change and its Impact on Food Systems and Sustainable Environment.”
Prof. Asare-Bediako stressed the importance of resilience and the commitment to mitigating climate change, stating that while the climate may change, the determination to address it must remain constant.
He further emphasized that climate change-food systems interactions have significant implications for sustainable development across multiple dimensions. To address these challenges, both mitigation and adaptation strategies are required.
Prof. Asare-Bediako highlighted the pivotal role of climate change and a sustainable environment in six out of the 17 sustainable development goals, including zero hunger, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, climate action, life below water, and life on land.
Climate change poses not only threats to food security but also to water scarcity, flooding, infectious diseases, extreme heat, economic losses, and displacement.
Dr Naomi Kumi, a lecturer at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, expressed concern about the destruction of forests, water bodies, and lands, emphasizing that the warming globe affects rainfall patterns and crop growth.
Without stringent measures and policies to address climate change, the economy will be significantly impacted.
Dr Dramani Bukari, Entrepreneurship and Investment Director at the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre highlighted the financial impact of climate change, stating that Ghana has already lost $95 million in grants as of 2020, with projections indicating a potential loss of $350 million by 2050.
Floods alone have resulted in a loss of approximately $100 million, and crop yields, particularly cereals like maize, are estimated to decrease by 21%, leading to soaring food prices and affecting people's well-being.