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Ghana: Blog Action Day ’09

Blog Action Day, codenamed #bad09 by tech gurus and geeks, is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. The aim of the event is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion on that particular day. This year Blog Action Day took place on October 15, with bloggers all over the world writing on the topic of climate change. Below is a round-up of the various posts by members of the Ghana Blogging Group on Blog Action Day.

Gameli Adzaho, author of The Gamelian World Blog, presented a post on “5 Voices on climate Change“. In it he sampled views from five global leaders. In his opening remarks, he talked about the significance of Blog Action Day and how “the phenomenon of climate has engaged the world's attention over the past decade, provoking debates in science, politics, business and technology.” The five global leaders he discussed were former US Vice-President Al GoreNobel Laureate Wangari MaathaiUS President Barack Obamaformer UN Secretary General Kofi Annanformer Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Gameli ended his post with a series of questions—”What are your views on climate change? Is it for real? Is it a myth? In what ways do you think that the world can use its resources more sustainably? Can developing countries contribute to reversing climate change?”—to which he hopes to get to answers to soon.

Next to post on Blog Action Day was The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) whose contributors are AWDF, Bisi and Roselyn. Their post related to “Climate Change and Women“.  AWDF is an Africa-wide grant-making foundation for African Women. The vision of the AWDF is for African women to live in a world in which there is social justice, equality and respect for women’s human rights.

They started their post by taking issue with statements made by Arun Agrawal in his paper on Social Dimensions of Climate Change, which was prepared for the Social Development Department, The World Bank, Washington DC, March 5-6, 2008. In his paper, Agrawal stated that “climate change will be pivotal in redefining development in the twenty-first century. How nations, societies, communities, and households respond to the impacts of climate changes and variability to which the world has already been committed will in many instances determine their prospects for growth, equity, and sustainability”.

AWDF views climate change as an environmental change, which is also driven by humans—fundamentally a human problem. The impacts of climate change are expected to seriously (and disproportionately) affect the livelihoods, health, and educational opportunities of people living in poverty. AWDF also made a few recommendations for dealing with the situation.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu, co-founder of Ghana Blogging Group and author of the Rain In Africa blog, had a lot to say on Blog Action Day, but was shocked at “how not current the topic is in Ghana”. Kajsa laments the absence of Ghana from a web site counting down to the UN Climate Change Summit and asks: “Really, when was the last time you heard someone discuss climate change around here?”

Yet Ghana came in for some special praise from Kasja:

A way to globally reduce the carbon dioxide emissions is to make sure we travel with public transport rather than individually in our own cars. Today, many Ghanaians travel in packed trotros, shared taxis or “Kufuor busses” and hence do not emit too much CO2. Can we say the same about the North/West? But as Ghanaians grow richer – our goal is to become a middle income country as soon as possible – more Ghanaians can also afford their own cars.

In my opinion the problem in the discussion about climate change is that while developed countries are struggling to be sustainable, developing countries are already klimatsmarta, but not by choice. Rather the “environmental consciousness” or sustainable living is caused by last year's topic; poverty.

Finally, Edward Tagoe, author of Tagoe Blogger blog and also a software developer-cum-poet, decided to share with his readers an interesting website called YOURENEW.COMAccording to Edward, the site “is the perfect place for you to recycle or sell used cell phones, mp3 players, digital cameras and graphing calculators. You can also recycle and sell laptops, video game console, external hard drive, video game or DVD. If you can’t find your device in our catalogue or we can’t pay for it, you can always ship it for free and we’ll recycle it safely. So look up your device today, go green and get green! So look up your device today and go green!”

Also take note, October 24th, 2009 has been designated the International Day of Climate Action by 350.org.

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