Nana Oduro-Kwarteng, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts (MOTCCA), has said green economy is one of the best means by which Ghana could avoid experiencing the harmful effects of climate change.
“With sustainable green economy or investment in our environment, the most serious and potential adverse effects of global warming, including crop failure, floods, droughts, heat waves, and forest fires could be averted,” he said.
Nana Oduro-Kwarteng said this, during a seminar on Green Infrastructure, organised by the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), in Accra.
The seminar, which was sponsored by the BUSAC Fund, was under the theme: “A National Green Infrastructure Policy- a Catalyst for Tourism Development in Ghana”.
Green infrastructure is about conserving the natural ecosystem values and functions in order to benefit human population.
It consists of natural and man-made elements such as reforestation zones, green bridges, and high natural farmland or forest areas.
Nana Oduro-Kwarteng noted that green infrastructure could maintain and create landscape features, which guaranteed clean water, productive soils and attractive recreational areas for tourism and mitigate climate change.
He said for Ghana to achieve a green economy, it would be essential to bring the ministries concerned with economic growth and development, as well as the private sector to jointly develop practical measures on how it could be attained.
“To this end, it is crucial to build capacity and create awareness among the respective stakeholders by highlighting the economic benefits and potentials green economy offers,” he explained.
He said investment in green infrastructure or agricultural infrastructure would lead to higher returns on investments, as there would be construction of access roads to rural areas which produced crops, building of storage facilities for agricultural produce, and development of irrigation infrastructure among others.
“For the development of green infrastructure, we must focus on investment in infrastructure that will help achieve post-harvest and agro-processing technologies,” he said.
Mr. David Nana Anim, President of GHATOF, cited Kenya, Uganda and the Seychelles, as some of the countries in Africa which had been able to use green economy to transform their countries into tourist hubs by preserving their landscapes.
“The Seychelles may be a small and remote island, but its conservation policies has helped to establish an excellent example for many countries such as Ghana to imitate when developing our own policies or rebuilding existing ones,” he said
He said GHATOF in collaboration with its stakeholders such as the Town and Country Planning, Parks and Gardens, and the Ministry of Local Government would come out with measures by which they would advocate for a green infrastructure in Ghana to boost agriculture and tourism.