|Institutions Tasked To Mainstream Biodiversity Into Programmes|
Professor Alfred A. Oteng Yeboah, Chairman of the National Biodiversity Committee yesterday stressed the need for state and non-governmental institutions to mainstream biodiversity activities into their development plans.
Professor Yeboah made the call at a stakeholder consultation meeting held in Bolgatanga on the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Ghana.
He explained that mainstreaming biodiversity activities was the only way the country could conserve biodiversity.
He said instead of destroying the biodiversity, the government and other stakeholders could contract experts to suggest viable economic alternative livelihoods.
Prof Yeboah said plans were afoot to put up a development document on biodiversity for Ghana and that the consultation meeting for a draft of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Ghana which attracted stakeholders from the three Northern Regions was part of the process.
He said another consultation meeting was scheduled to be held in Kumasi which would be attended by other stakeholders from the southern sector.
Professor Yeboah said the government was a signatory to the Nagoya protocol on access and benefits sharing of biodiversity and had been advised to rectify and domesticate its biodiversity programme to empower Ghana to benefit fully from it.
He expressed the hope that Parliament would rectify the protocol to give the country a legal backing to benefit from biodiversity and expressed regret at the situation where developed countries exploited the biodiversity of developing countries without adequate compensation.
Mr Yeboah said there were benefits from biodiversity and indicated that Africa had not even exhausted one-fifth of the benefits.
He cited a situation where the United States sent a delegation of scientists to Cameroon to conduct research into a plant that had active ingredients against cancer cell growth.
He explained that it was based on the exploitation of the biodiversity by the developed countries from Africa without commensurate compensation that prompted African countries to meet in Nagoya in Japan to take a decision to sign the protocol on Biodiversity.
He said Ghana had an obligation to implement the articles and programmes of work of the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the decisions of the Conference of Parties held in Nagoya.
Professor Yeboah said the decisions reached at the Nagoya conference was to at least halve the rate of loss of natural habitats including forests and to establish conservation target of 17% of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10% of marine and coastal areas and restore at least 15% of degraded areas through conservation and restoration activities in their respective countries, and where feasible, bring the rate close to zero.
The Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mrs Zenabu Wasai-King, appealed to stakeholders, who are made up of chiefs, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, EPA staff, Environmental NGOs, the media among others to take the programme seriously by ensuring that they mainstream biodiversity into their programmes.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 August 2012 15:03|