Stakeholders brainstorm on Biosphere Reserves

Prof Frimpong Boateng (middle) with the participants at the launch.

Prof Frimpong Boateng (middle) with the participants at the launch.

The first national forum aimed at sensitising the public to provide the platform for stakeholders to brainstorm on Biosphere Reserves was held in Accra yesterday.

Biosphere Reserves are special places for managing interactions between social and ecological systems including conflict prevention and the management of biodiversity.

These are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems which promote solutions for reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainability under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The reserves are special places for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems.

The forum was also used to launch the Ghana Action Plan (2018-2025) for the implementation of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme.

The UNESCO biosphere reserves are landscapes and ecosystems where people live and work, mainly for pastorial or extensive agricultural purposes.

The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, speaking at the ceremony said the government was committed to finding lasting solutions to formidable environmental issues including plastic pollution and illegal mining which has put a lot of strain on the country’s biosphere and biodiversity.

According to him the economic development of the country could not be achieved without the conservation of the natural environment and urged concerted effort to alleviate poverty through promoting sound and sustainable development.

According to him, the three Biosphere Reserves in the country have provided immense benefit to the country and urged the participants to adopt strategies to improve and preserve the environment for future generations.

The Acting Executive Director of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Mr John Pwamang said the Ghana Action Plan was within the framework of the Ghana Man and Biosphere national committee and commended the country for being one of the first African countries to prepare its Action Plan.

The implementation of the action plan he said would contribute significally to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards community collaboration and biodiversity conservation and empowerment.

The Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, who is also the Secretary-General of the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO in a speech read on his behalf said the secretariat was considering the possibility of  being elected onto the MAB board.

By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu

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