The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor has inaugurated a 10-member committee to plan and facilitate Ghana’s effective participation in the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP 28).

The committee, chaired by Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio, a  Deputy Minister of the Ministry in Charge of Lands and Forestry, has been tasked to identify sources of funding for the acquisition of a pavilion, facilitate the participation of government officials at COP28, and plan a Natural Resource and Environmental Sector Pre-COP28 events as well as creating a number of events at Ghana’s pavilion during the COP28.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Committee in Accra, Mr Jinapor said the Government of Ghana had assumed a leading role in discussing climate change issues on the global stage and, therefore, there was a high expectation on Ghana to contribute immensely to policy ideas and initiatives during the COP28.

It was on the back of huge expectations that the Lands Minister was undertaking a proactive step to set up a committee to ensure the country’s representation and participation at COP28 was impactful and successful.

Mr Jinapor noted that Ghana, being the co-chair of the COP28, alongside the United States of America, was an honour and a huge challenge to deliver a successful conference.

Therefore, the committee has the responsibility of executing its terms of reference to perfection and protecting the country’s reputation.

“For exceptionally good reasons, Ghana has become a leading country when it comes to the issues of climate action. For COP28, expectations are high, and our ambitions are also high, and I felt that early on, I put together a team of competent and capable people which will be chaired by Mr Benito Owusu-Bio,” the Minister said.

The Minister also made some suggestions on events the Committee could undertake to ensure Ghana is well represented at COP28.

“Ghana’s Second Lady, Hajia Samira Bawumia, has become an iconic figure when it comes to climate action, and I think we should have a high-level event that will enable her to address the audience at the event.

“I also think that you should have a panel discussion of high-level people. You can get John Kelly and other Ministers from forest countries to join me and the president,” Mr Jinapor suggested.

The Minister underscored the need for the Committee to highlight the African story relative to climate change and climate action.

The Minister believed climate issues remained an uncharted territory, hence it was imperative for Ghana to explore it.

Mr Owusu-Bio, Chairman of the Committee, welcomed the responsibilities entrusted to him and the rest of the members and assured that the committee would deliver on its mandate.

He promised to provide the necessary leadership for Ghana to have successful participation and stressed the importance of COP28 for Ghana’s climate action plans.

Other members of the committee were Mr John Allotey, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Mr. Sulemana Koney, the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Martin Ayisi, the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Mr. Joseph Osiakwah, Technical Director at the Forestry and Ms Roselyn F. Adjei, Director Climate Change, Forestry Commission.

The COP28 session is scheduled from November 30 to December 12, 2023, and will take place at the Expo City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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