Preventing the Meltdown of Chocolate: Climate Change Adaptation and the Cocoa Sector - Implications in the Implementation of the National Climate Change Policy on Cocoa Farmers in the Juaboso District of Western Region, Ghana
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The importance of climate governance has grown as nations over the globe are experiencing both physical and theoretical implications of climate change. Due to the multi-faceted nature of climate change, many nations have taken a top-down approach to climate governance by establishing appropriate adaptation strategies to be implemented at an international or national scale. The objectives of a national climate agenda must move from a national level down to a ground level, where the last government implementing body involve district institutions. Districts play an integral role in implementing the top-down objectives of national policy, whilst simultaneously dealing with the bottom-up processes operating at a ground level. Yet, knowledge of district-level operations is surprisingly scarce. This prevents an accurate understanding of how national policies are practically carried out on the ground. This thesis aims to analyse the implementation of a national climate policy at district level. The implementation of the agroforestry action plan of National Climate Change Policy (NCCP) in the cocoa sector in the Juaboso district of the Western Region in Ghana was taken as a case study. The cocoa sector in Ghana provided a unique case study. As a government-controlled sector but concurrently vulnerable to climate change, the cocoa sector is adopting the nationally imposed agroforestry adaptation strategy. Through a mixed-methods approach, data was collected from key informants and cocoa farmers from the Juaboso district. Results showed that the climate targets of the NCCP were mechanized through the existing Ghana Forest Investment Program (FIP) in Juaboso. District institutions of Cocobod and Forestry Commission (FC) were deeply involved in the implementation. Cocoa farmers gained access to agronomic tree seedlings, training services and some agrochemicals to implement the strategy. Overall, the main findings illustrate that insufficient finances and resource constraints faced by district institutions are hindering cocoa farmers’ ability to access to resources needed to implement the adaptation strategy. The findings have practical and theoretical value. Practically, the identification of district implications deepened an understanding of the challenges cocoa farmers have in implementing a national adaptation strategy. Theoretically, the results illustrated the shortcomings of a top-down climate governance system at the district level. The work concludes that the top-down system needs to embrace non-governmental players to execute the multi-faceted nature of climate governance. This would allow a better distribution and accessibility of resources at a ground level.