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Climate Change and Agricultural Policy Processes in Ghana

Sarpong D.B. & Anyidoho N.A. (2012), Climate Change and Agricultural Policy Processes in Malawi, Future Agriculture Consortium, Working Paper n°45, September 2012 : 21 p.

Pour une mise en contexte de cet excellent rapport de recherche, consultez l’article suivant : Agriculture « intelligente » face au climat : Comment les politiques sur le changement climatique et l’agriculture sont-elles faites en Afrique ?

Pour accéder à la page de présentation du rapport : Climate change policy in Ghana

Résumé du rapport (par les auteurs) :

This paper examines agriculture-climate change policy discussions in Ghana in the context of, on the one hand, increasing international interest and activity around climate change and agriculture, and on the other, concerns over whether climate policy and funding priorities are aligned to domestic development priorities. The paper poses the following questions : What are the contested areas and dividing lines in policy discussions and practices around climate change, which actors are supporting different viewpoints, and what traction do they have in the types of interventions that are being promoted ?

The Ghanaian economy is growing fast, and agriculture is key to the country’s development ambitions (see NDPC 2010). However, despite its importance to the Ghanaian economy, agriculture has only recently become a central part of climate change policy discussions in the country. The current dominant policy framing of the climate change-agriculture nexus is that climate change is a new, externally imposed, risk that may hinder the drive for modernised agriculture as an engine for growth and poverty reduction. Ghana, according to this framing, should be helped to access funds and technologies to make the agriculture sector more robust and “climate proofed” to face climate change challenges. This dominant framing is supported by key government institutional actors (clustered around environmental units), and by key bi- and multilateral donors in Ghana. Most of climate change activities and funding arising from this framing centre on mitigating the effects of climate change.

Ghana exemplifies the ways in which international climate policy discussions meet domestic policy processes, where outcomes are a result of interplay between external and local discourses, interests and actors. While it is clear that the mitigation focus is pushed by international funding structures, there are also key national processes and interests that promote this orientation. These include a legacy of environmental framing of the climate change problem, the active involvement of mainly environmental actors in climate change policy making, and an interest on the part of government and non-governmental actors in the funding available for mitigation activities.

But there are also divergent views in the Ghana policy space. The benefits from a focus on mitigation opportunities, following on from the disappointing experience with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol, are being challenged. The argument is that mitigation is an interest that first and foremost serves external actors and that it distracts from what should be Ghana’s main task, namely to adapt to climate change. This critique is related to a counter-narrative by NGOs and some donors that policy discussions should focus on how households and communities can be made less vulnerable to current climate risks that hinder agricultural livelihood activities and deepen poverty. Again, the contention is that this goal will be advanced through adaptation activities. Reorienting the country’s priorities towards adaptation, moreover, will mean breaking out a cycle of dependence on external actors for policy direction and funding. However, these alternative framings have so far had little traction in major policy debates. In the absence of an influential civil society understanding and affecting the climate change agenda in Ghana, or a national policy framework that balances different interests, there is a risk of disconnected policy solutions in the face of climate change.

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Sur le même sujet, également disponible : l’étude de cas MALAWI

Crédits: AK-Project