Because of climate change, Ghana is facing increased pressure on water, reduced yields leading to more poverty and food insecurity, and the loss of national revenue from cash crops such as cocoa. Other vulnerabilities include migration which adds pressure on urban services; deteriorating health because of increased disease; severe impacts on land use leading to loss of biodiversity and soil fertility, land degradation and increased deforestation; and exposure of fragile groups such as women and youth to climate change impacts. In 2013, Ghana launched its National Climate Change Policy, which includes the three objectives of effective adaptation, social development and mitigation. Four thematic areas have been identified to address adaptation issues in Ghana: energy and infrastructure, natural resource management, agriculture and food security, and disaster preparedness and response.
Many metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAa) are confronted with increased climate change variability and human vulnerability. More than 80 per cent of disasters in MMDAs are climate related and affect key growth and economic sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries; as well as environmental sanitation, water supply and management. The National Development Planning Commission’s guidelines on preparing MMDA medium-term plans therefore incorporate climate change adaptation issues in profiling as well as in prioritizing projects – though without providing clear guidance. As highlighted in the National Climate Change Policy, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, which aims to ensure good governance and equitable development of MMDAs, plays an important role in ensuring that climate change is mainstreamed at the local level.
Objectives, results and activities
The overall outcome of LoCAL-Ghana is to improve the resilience of MMDAs to climate change as a result of increased access to climate change adaptation financing through performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRGs). The objectives for LoCAL- Ghana are as follows:
Four outputs will contribute to the achievement of these objectives: (i) effective and transparent climate change financing mechanism in place for local governments (MMDAs) through the establishment of the PBCRG system linked with the existing District Development Facility (DDF); (ii) inclusive, effective and accountable climate change adaptation planning process designed and integrated in the MMDA local development planning process; (iii) effective capacity development mechanism promoted to strengthen MMDA capacities for climate change adaptation; and (iv) climate change adaptation activities efficiently, effectively and transparently implemented and reported by participating MMDAs through the PBCRG system.
Since its launch in 2015, the PBCRG system has been successfully designed and is fully aligned with the DDF introduced in 2009 to support enhancement of MMDA capacity through a combination of capital grants, capacity development support and incentives for improved performance in – among other areas – public financial management, procurement systems, revenue mobilization and good governance. The size of the PBCRG in Ghana constitutes an average top-up of around 10–15 per cent of the DDF.
Three MMDAs, with a combined population of 308,008, were selected to pilot the approach: the Fanteakwa District, the Ada East District and the Efutu Municipal Assembly. Following the first cycle of planning, budgeting and transfer of funds in November 2015, the first adaptation measures and investments captured in the MMDA approved workplans commenced in June 2016 and completed in January 2017. Upon completion of the first cycle of investments, an annual performance assessment (APA) was conducted in June 2017.
The Government of Ghana has expressed a strong desire to further mainstream adaptation activities in all procedures at the MMDA level, with a focus on strengthening the district environmental committees and compliance with various environmental safeguards, as well as sharpen the attention to the increasing roles of climate change at the local level.
A technical assistance mission commissioned by UNCDF was organized in June 2016 to review climate information (risks, vulnerability and adaptation assessments) to inform adaptation planning and mainstreaming into local development planning and make recommendations to strengthen local capacities. Additionally, LoCAL supported the efforts of the Fiscal Decentralisation Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in fine-tuning its District Functional Organisational Assessment Tool (FOAT) and mainstreaming it into national monitoring and evaluation systems.
UNCDF commissioned two technical assistance missions in 2017 to design LoCAL Phase II in a consultative manner. The design was endorsed by partners and the Government of Ghana, and the country is ready to move to Phase II.
Adaptation measures and investments
Population: 24.37 million
Number of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies: 216
Phase I: 2016-2017 onwards (USD 125,000 for year 1, from global programme)
Phase I (2nd cycle) :2017-2018 (USD 130,000)
Phase II: 2018 onwards, pending availability of resources
Lead government partners (Memorandum of Understanding):
Ministry of Local Governments and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance.
Other government partners (Technical committee):Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI); Environment Protection Agency (EPA), National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).
LoCAL donors and in-country development partners: Government of Liechtenstein; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); EU GCCA+
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Government of Ghana:
Ms. Wasila Sufyan, Senior Development Planning Officer, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr. Abdulai Dramani, Institute of Local Government Service (email@example.com)
Mr. Kwame Owusu-Bonsu, Director, Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ms. Angela Yayra Amoah, LoCAL National Project Coordinator (Ghana) (email@example.com)
Mrs. Sophie De Coninck, LoCAL Project Manager (Africa) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LoCAL-Ghana in figures