Reshaping Africa’s food security and climate resilience through leveraging Ecosystem based Adaptation Assembly Policy Framework
Offshoots from EBAFOSA Ghana National Branch Launch
The 6th Special Session of the Africa Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) supported the establishment of the Africa Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly (EBAFOSA), its’ Constitution and the outcomes of the process leading to the establishment of the Assembly, as the inclusive pan-African policy framework and implementation platform that brings together key stakeholders and actors along the entire ecosystem-based adaptation-driven agriculture value-chain
With this highest policy recognition by AMCEN countries have a big opportunity to build on the call for these partnerships to implement their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and pave a climate resilient development pathway in order to realize 2030 Agenda for the SDGs and Africa Union Agenda 2063
Article 7 of the EBAFOSA constitution establishes the structure of EBAFOSA and Country branches are the critical component where impactful activities are undertaken in a country led process. Country branches register local, continental and global actors within the country and facilitate their interactions and mutual partnership to bridge gaps in policy processes, techniques, technology, markets, commercialization, and finance all this done to achieve inclusive and optimal implementation.
It is against this backdrop that the Ghana National Branch hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was launched on 3rd March 2017, under the theme “Re-shaping Ghana’s food security and climate resilience through EBAFOSA”. The launch event under the leadership of the EBAFOSA Ghana officials, attracted over 200 stakeholders representing multiple sectors from government, academia, NGOs, CSOs, individual professionals & citizens, farmers, resident UN agencies with media coverage to enhance awareness across the country.
Ghana stakeholders shared one profound message on EBAFOSA. That is EBAFOSA provides Ghana stakeholders an opportunity to complement their respective strengths & implement known solutions & innovations towards actualizing Ghana’s food security & agro-industrialization potential. While simultaneously combating climate change and delivering the SDGs.
Given the urgent need to create jobs for the youth in Ghana, the Minister of Food & Agriculture, noting the central role agriculture has to play to create these jobs, said that thanks to EBAFOSA, he envisions Ghana’s youth fully engaging their skills, talents and energies towards building Ghana’s agro-industries of the future and creating income opportunities and combating poverty and climate change. He noted that endless talk about potential will not convert potential to substantial gains for the people. He lauded EBAFOSA as a practical framework where actions to unlock Ghana’s potential in agro-value chains & agro-industrialization can be forged at both policy & ground level and ensure this potential is realized substantively. He pledged the Ministries support towards ensuring the novel, practical EBAFOSA integrated approach of forging complementary actions aimed at maximizing the socio-economic returns of the catalytic agriculture value chains is successful.
On her part, the UN Resident Coordinator applauded the EBAFOSA inclusive coordinated approach to bridging policy/operational gaps towards actualizing agro-Industrialization as timely towards implementing the Paris Agreement and achieving the SDGs, two key priority areas of UN support in Ghana. She pledged to support EBAFOSA.
The UN FAO deputy representative noted that EBAFOSA is bringing together ecosystems productivity and food security, 2 mutually dependent areas that have been looked at in isolation to the detriment of agriculture productivity. He added that EBAFOSA is bridging the gap in agro productivity, climate change, ecosystems health and food & livelihood security to ensure achievement of both socio-economic & climate objectives in Ghana. He noted that among the NDC priorities of Ghana, which UN FAO is supporting implementation is is to reduce emissions from land use and agriculture, areas which EBAFOSA addresses. He therefore pledged UN FAO complementarity on EBAFOSA to ensure effective achievement of their climate, food security & socio-economic mandate in Ghana.
On his part, the director of the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) noted that EBAFOSA was a timely policy implementation action framework to optimize harnessing of Africa’s Natural capital currently contributing 25% of GDP. Yet has potential to contribute much more with coordinated & targeted investments at policy & ground level on the catalytic natural capital based sectors like agriculture. Areas which EBAFOSA is addressing. He further noted the need for prioritizing relevant innovations and strengthening of institutions, areas which fall within the EBAFOSA purview.
The EPA Director lauded the timely launch of the EBAFOSA Ghana and pledged EPA full support to rollout out EBAFOSA Action plan across the country.
The broad participation in the launch, especially cross-cutting policy level, UN and other development partners, academia, individual professionals & citizens, private sector coupled with media coverage was a crucial achievement for the EBAFOSA Ghana branch. This in ensuring the launch catalyzes progress in the EBAFOSA stakeholder promotion & mobilization and strategic partnership building, the crucial tenets towards EBAFOSA’s mandate of building targeted policy & action solutions for optimized, climate resilient food systems in Ghana and Africa.
With the support of AMCEN and with the launch of EBAFOSA Ghana, the country now has a national policy driven niche to domesticate the EBAFOSA at national level. This will enhance effective policy uptake to ensure enhanced EBA uptake and integration into national plans, development processes and decision making frameworks in the country.
As next steps, with guidance from the continental secretariat and partners, EBAFOSA Ghana will embark on activities to ensure the promotional aspects and awareness created by the launch event are leveraged to catalyze expedited progress in implementing the EBAFOSA roll-out strategies. A follow up of new contacts from policy level, private sector, academia, NGOs, and resident UN agencies and other International / intergovernmental organizations etc., established at the launch event will be made to ensure their registration and involvement in EBAFOSA Ghana activities. This will be underpinned by multi-stakeholder mobilization & registration across sectors in Ghana and fomenting of mutual multi-level, cross-sectorial partnerships towards bridging implementation gaps at both policy and operational level. Through volunteerism, regional and sectorial focal persons will be recruited to lead in these activities as illustrated in the EBAFOSA Phase two rollout Strategy and Implementation Plan. The EBAFOSA Ghana national branch will develop an action plan based on this strategy, with timelines and responsible persons through guidance from the continental secretariat to proceed with activities.
EBAFOSA Ghana becomes the 15th National branch to be launched.
Congratulations EBAFOSA Ghana!