Collaborating institutions of the five-year research project on Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa: An Integrated Approach (CECAR-Africa) held a kickoff meeting on 2 May 2012 at the UNU Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) in Accra, Ghana. The meeting formally commenced the project′s operational phase.
The delegation from the project′s Japanese institutions — the University of Tokyo, UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) and Kyoto University— joined their counterparts from the University of Ghana, University for Development Studies (UDS, Ghana), Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMeT) and UNU-INRA at the meeting.
UNU Vice-Rector Kazuhiko Takeuchi officially opened the event and chaired proceedings in the initial session with UNU-IAS Director Elias Ayuk. The session began with a series of presentations from members of three thematic groups. Dr. Kwabena Effah Antwi (University of Tokyo and UNU-ISP) and Dr. Osamu Saito (UNU-ISP) then touched on research structure, planning and operational aspects of the institutional collaboration during the five years of the project, and members from partner institutions presented their short- and long-term research plans.
The afternoon session, chaired by Prof. Ishikawa (Kyoto University), provided a platform to engage the team on other topical issues. Notable among these was input from Prof. Gordana (UDS) on preliminary project site selection and field visits. Dr. Effah Antwi also led the team on some logistical issues.
The evening session, chaired by Prof. E. Gyasi (University of Ghana), brought together government institutions, NGOs, INGOs and international organizations working on similar research projects in the three northern regions of Ghana. UNU Vice-Rector Takeuchi gave a brief presentation on the CECAR-Africa project, while UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana Ruby Sandhu-Rojon provided a brief overview of UN initiatives and support in the area of climate change in Ghana. Representatives from UNDP, the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) also gave an overview of their initiatives in the regions. Prof. Gyasi delivered the closing speech.
The delegation travelled to the northern region on 3 May to meet with Prof. Yakubu Haruna, Vice-Chancellor of UDS, and representatives of the Faculty of Agriculture at the UDS Nyankpala campus. The 15-member delegation then visited potential study sites and met community members.
Prof. Takeuchi and Dr. Ayuk visited the Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, Naoto Nikai, the following day at the Japanese Embassy. Amb. Nikai expressed the mission’s interest in championing the cause of Japan’s initiatives in Ghana and pledged his support for the CECAR-Africa project.
For more information, see on the meeting report page on the UNU-ISP website.