Report on Researcher Practioner Sympossium

Introduction

IMG_5039After weeks of planning, phone calls, dispatching letters and making follow-ups; the dust finally settled and the much talked about symposium which happened to be the first of its kind in the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) saw the light of day on Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017.

The symposium formed part of series of activities to be carried out under the Climate Impact Research Leadership and Capacity Enhancement (CIRCLE)’s UPTAKE PROJECT ‘Sharing and co-creation of knowledge on climate change adaptation among agrarian communities in the Transitional and Savannah vegetation zones of Ghana’ with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID).

Symposium Objectives

The symposium sought to discuss findings from an earlier research on Gender, Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity of Agrarian and Forest Dependent Communities in the Transitional Zone. Furthermore, it discussed the challenges, success stories and best practices of farmers in respect of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in the Transitional and Savannah Zones of Ghana.

Attendance

Participants were drawn from the Savannah and Transitional zones of Ghana. Representatives included District/Municipal Directors of Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Extension officers/agents of MoFA and farmers from Kintampo North, Offinso North, Sunyani West, Tolon-Kumbugu, Wa West Districts, Berekum and Bolgatanga Municipals. Experts from the Ghana Meteorology Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency in the Sunyani Municipality were also present. In attendance was Prof. Harrison Kwame Dapaah, the Vice Chancellor of UENR, Dr. Simon Abugre, Dean of Students, UENR, and Dr. Charles Adarkwah, Dean, School of Agriculture and Technology, UENR.  Others were Dr. Phyllis Opare (CIRCLE cohort 2 fellow), Dr. Amos Kabo-bah (CIRCLE cohort 1 fellow), Dr. Mary Antwi, Dr. Nana Sarfo Agyemang Derkyi, Dr. Leslie Danquah, Mrs. Nana Yaa Opuni-Frimpong, Mr. Daniel Akoto Sarfo, Mr. Ernest Yeboah Darkwa, Prof. Stefan Pelz (a visiting professor from Germany) and other staff members and students of UENR. In all, 57 people participated in the programme excluding the students.

Summary of activities

IMG_5367The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Harrison Kwame Dapaah welcomed the participants. He stressed on the need for academia to foster productive collaborations with practitioners in order to promote sustainable development. He also congratulated the Centre for Climate Change and Gender Studies (3CGS) team for their efforts in spearheading this initiative and also appreciated the contributions of CIRCLE programme to the capacity building of staff and fostering the collaboration between researchers and practitioners through this Uptake programme.   Dr.

(Mrs.) Mercy A. A. Derkyi, CIRCLE 2015 Fellow, took her turn to highlight the findings and opened the floor forIMG_4962 contributions from the participants.

The representative of the Forestry Commission presented on the role that the FC is playing in adaptation and mitigation of Climate Change through the Ghana Forest Investment Program (GFIP). The representatives of the various Districts and Municipalities took turns to give presentations on the challenges that each faced with respect to Climate Change and the various adaptation and mitigation measures they put in place. The challenges and interventions were thoroughly discussed in a level headed manner in order to facilitate knowledge sharing and also set the tone for future projects.

The participants were fired with enthusiasm and the program lived to expectation. In order to enrich the learning experience, some farmers were interviewed and allowed to share their thoughts and make contributions. Participants from each District drafted a ‘way forward’ guide in respect of interventions and activities which could help in Climate Change mitigation and adaptation in their districts.

The Vice Chancellor closed the program and thanked participants for their enthusiastic participation. Customized souvenirs of a calendar and a mug on the uptake were given to each participant in appreciation of their time and also as means of publicizing CIRCLE and 3CGS activities.

Way forward

  • With the established networks, selected farmers and the MoFA staff from the transition zone, as well as selected agriculture students at the school of Agriculture and Technology of UENR, will visit Upper West Region in March 2017 to have hands-on experiences of the adaptation strategies available in the field.
  • Develop documentary on the uptake program
  • Design simple manual on ADAPTATION strategies for farmers
  • Organize training workshops for farmers in the transitional zone
  • Based on the action plans developed by the respective districts, 3CGs will facilitate an action research proposal for transitional-savannah climate-smart agriculture project.

Acknowledgement

We are grateful to the funding from the Department for International Development (DfID) under the Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) programme.

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