Effective climate information services crucial to adaptation – Professor Klutse 

By Albert Oppong-Ansah

Accra, March 27, GNA – Professor Nana Ama Browne Klutse, a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of Ghana, has underscored the importance of timely and accurate climate information services in adapting to climate change.

She explained that the provision of information on weather-related events could help the public make informed decisions and plan effectively.

Climate Information Services can be described as the provision of accurate and timely information on climate events including rainfall patterns, storms, wind and drought for climate-dependent sectors.

Addressing a national forum on Ghana’s National Framework for Climate Services, Professor Klutse stated that it was impossible to prevent climatic events from occurring, underlining the need for adaptation.

The event which brought together stakeholders from civil society organisations, international organizations, academia, and state institutions was organized by the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) with support from USAID, through its Feed the Future Ghana Policy LINK Activity.

The day’s event sought to find ways to foster collaboration among actors and operationalised the National Framework for Climate Services (NFCS).

Professor Klutse, who is also the Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I for the Seventh Assessment Cycle, said sectors such as trade, construction, agriculture, transportation, energy, and health are climate-sensitive and therefore require climate services information to manage and cope with disasters while remaining resilient.

She said without climate information services it would be extremely difficult to adapt to climate change.

Mr. Yunus Abdulai, Country Lead of Ghana’s Feed the Future Ghana Policy LINK Activity, emphasized the need for access to climatic information for planning, as more than 90 per cent of agriculture in Ghana was rainfed.

He noted that the frequency of extreme events and disasters such as floods and droughts had increased in recent years because of changing rainfall and temperature patterns, causing millions of dollars in property damage, destruction of large swaths of farmland, and loss of livelihoods.

Mr Abdulai stated that the NFCS was essential to enabling vulnerable groups to adapt to the impacts of climate change and significantly lowering the effect of natural catastrophes on socio-ecological systems.

“The delivery of timely, appropriately packaged, accessible and affordable climate services to smallholder farmers, water managers, disaster management organizations, is critical to enhancing the resilience of vulnerable populations to the impacts of climate change,” he said. 

Mr. Abdulai stated that Policy Link was helping GMet to develop legal documentation to support the framework’s implementation.

“Specifically, a lawyer has been engaged to lead in drafting a Legislative Instrument that will enable the regulation of the provision of climate information services in the five sectors the framework considers,” he said.

Dr Eric Asuman, the Acting Director General of GMet, said NFCS was a comprehensive plan that aims to provide timely and accurate climate information to support decision-making processes in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy. 

He said it was a vital tool that would help the country achieve its mitigation and adaptation plans by providing essential services. 

Mr. Asuman stated that the NFCS supports the adaptation plan by offering climate services including vulnerability assessment and early warning systems.