COP26: Addressing Climate Crises

Sustainable Development Goal 13 is about climate action with five (5) clear targets with the aim focus on “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”. It again has 8 indicators seeking to address climate crisis and promote climate adaptation. These metrics must shepherd governments and stakeholders into attaining success at all levels.

The COVID-19 temporarily reduced human activities resulting in a dip in climate crises. Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally by 2050 is highly unattainable.

The environmental and social impacts of illegal mining (galamsey) which includes noise pollution, pollution of water bodies, contamination of agricultural soils, other habitats in the environment continuous to wreak havoc on families, societies, communities etc. It positions the ecosystem in a deplorable state for future generations.

COP26 comes to an end today as engagements and significant commitments made at the gathering must not just be lip service to humanity but tracking parameters and deadlines must be documented and followed up religiously to ensure compliance.

The story of COP26 must have a successful end by putting countries currently faced with climate vulnerability in front and at the centre of the priority list. Pledges from real economy actors on mitigation, adaptation and mobilization of finance must turn into driving implementation immediately.

To address the complications of illegal mining, a multi-dimensional and multi-sectorial approach including formulating realistic and comprehensive measures to address unemployment, poverty, discrimination, insecurity etc. is urgently needed.

There must be effective coordination between government agencies, mining companies, mining communities, traditional authorities, opinion leaders, civil society organizations (CSOs), faith based organizations (FBOs), amongst other stakeholders.

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With proper integration of climate change into national strategies, policies and planning, our individual and collective activities must reflect and module high levels of operationalization and implementation of climate mitigation and adaption actions in both the short and long terms.

Education on the negative impact of illegal mining on sustainable development is very key in bringing to a halt illegal mining. Again, there must be the enforcement of environmental and other relevant laws in a fair and impartial manner. These practical interventions will help curb illegal mining and its effect on the environment.

Interestingly, dealing with the consequences and effects of climate crises automatically touches on almost all the SDGs, notable amongst them are; SDG1–No Poverty, SDG2–Zero Hunger, SDG3–Good Health and Well-being, SDG6–Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG7–Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG12–Responsible Consumption and Protection, SDG14–Life Below Water  and SDG15–Life on Land.

The earth is sending a message that we cannot ignore, indeed, this is a clarion call to action and we all have obligations and vital roles to play in ensuring a more habitable environment for ourselves and future generations.

To  address  the  complexities  of  illegal  mining,  requires  a multidimensional  and  multisectorial  approach  including  formulating  realistic and  comprehensive  measures  to  address  the  catalysts  (unemployment, maginalization,  poverty,  resource  entitlement),  coordination  between government  agencies,  educating illegal  miners  on the  negative  impact  and its effect on sustainable development, enforcement of environmental laws.

By Bright Ampadu Okyere (An SDG Advocate) and Lead Partner SDG Alliance-Ghana Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ghanasdg Facebook: SDG Alliance-Ghana Tel. # 0244204664

To  address  the  complexities  of  illegal  mining,  requires  a multidimensional  and  multisectorial  approach  including  formulating  realistic and  comprehensive  measures  to  address  the  catalysts  (unemployment, maginalization,  poverty,  resource  entitlement),  coordination  between government  agencies,  educating illegal  miners  on the  negative  impact  and its effect on sustainable development, enforcement of environmental laws.

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Source: sdg-tracker.org sdgs.un.org