Global Environment Facility workshop opens in Accra

Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng addressing the participants at the conference.Photo Seth Osabukle

Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng addressing the participants at the conference.Photo Seth Osabukle

The Minister of Science, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has bemoaned the declining state of Ghana’s environment despite significant investment to improve its quality by government and development partners.

“The Global Environment Facility (GEF), through its Small Grants Programme, has invested over $450million in Ghana’s environmental protection strategies and projects since 1992. But reviewing the projects that have been undertaken and the resources that have been utilised, it has made little impact and our environment keeps deteriorating,” he stated.

To this end, government, he said has initiated environmental sustainability programmes that focus on the exploitation of natural resources through the use of science, technology and innovation and the national environment and climate change policies.

Speaking at the GEF Expanded Constituency Workshop in Accra yesterday, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said the policies were composed under four thematic pillars including sustainable natural resources management, climate resilient and climate compatible economy, socio-cultural transformation as well as economic and institutional reforms.

The workshop brought together representatives of the various environmental agencies in eight African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Togo to discuss how best to deal with environmental challenges in an effective manner.

Prof. Frimpong Boateng said the Ministry recently commenced steps to enunciate a national biodiversity policy and review the country’s biodiversity strategy and its related action plan aimed at conserving and managing terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity to ensure sustainable and equitable benefits.

The policy, he said puts strong emphasis on strengthening national biodiversity institutions and developing systems and technologies that would protect threatened species while promoting sustainable management of the vulnerable natural environments.

It further safeguards part of the deep marine environments that are particularly rich in biodiversity and promote the development of biodiversity off-sets.

The Minister said Ghana recently signed the Minamata convention adding that “Ghana is committed to minimising the use of mercury in artisanal small scale mining in particular and other related sectors that use mercury.”

He called for strong collaboration among agencies responsible for managing the natural environment in order to create a viable force to conserve and sustainably use available resources for sustainable development.

Madam Francoise Clottes, Director of Strategies and Operations, GEF, said the GEF was increasing funding for the fight against climate change challenges by 33 per cent to enable countries put in place strong strategies to reduce its effect.

She explained that the GEF would not relent on its efforts to make available much needed resources to implement policies to mitigate climate change challenges and urged agencies to partner with private sector players to protect the environment.

By Claude Nyarko Adams

 

 

 

email
Print Friendly

Leave a Comment