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The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), yesterday, took its turn at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra.


MESTI is mandated to promote science and technology applications in all sectors of the economy, create conditions for innovations to drive socio-economic transformation as well as ensure sustainable environment and human settlement development.


The sector Minister, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, briefed the media about the achievements and challenges encountered in the year 2017 and the policy measures instituted to overcome the challenges in 2018.


On policy, legalization and International agreements, Prof. Frimpong Boateng disclosed that the Ministry had prepared a framework for the development of the National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) bill which had been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Department.


The framework, he said, consisted of the establishment of two bodies— the Presidential Advisory Council and the STI Fund.


On the state of the environment, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng mentioned littering, gas explosions, galamsey, poor conditions of human settlement, low priority for science and technology in most sectors and a disjointed innovation eco-System as key challenges.


On environmental protection and management, he disclosed that the regulation to control the quality and quantity of waste water discharges from industrial, mining and other sources, to reduce pollution in water bodies, including marine environment, had been finalized.


The sector Minister disclosed that the Ministry was working with the Ghana Standard Authority to transform the air quality guidelines into standards for the control of air emissions for industrial, mining and quarries.


On challenges facing the sector, Prof. Frimpong-Boatng mentioned poor enforcement of regulations and laws governing the environment and for the management of natural resources,uncontrolled use of radioactive materials and radiation-emitting devices in medical and industrial facilities as well as the challenges of ensuring environmental sustainability in the oil and gas industry.


For 2018 and beyond, he said the sector had plans to operationalize a national plastics management policy, intensify public education and awareness on biosafety issues and finalize environmental management policy on oil and gas for cabinet approval.


Source: ISD (Aliyah Bayali & Edem Agblevor)