‘We need strong institutions for environmental management’

Accra Professor Rose E.M. Entsua-Mensah, former Deputy Director General, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, has called on government to build strong and efficient institutions to manage the country’s environmental challenges.

She said the country needed to strengthen local capacity and coordinate the overall environmental strategy and Sustainable Development Goals for the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.

Prof. Entsua-Mensah made the call in Accra at a lecture on the topic: Is Ghana on the Brink of Ecological Suicide? organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

She said the country was blessed with lots of natural resources but had failed in their effective utilisation to optimize their full benefits for all.

Prof. Entsua-Mensah said it behoved all to examine dispassionately the management of the country’s ecological system as any imbalance on the environment could threaten the life of the citizenry.

The Sustainable development Goals would be under threat in the country if unsustainable degradation practices are not addressed and the nation will head towards an ecocide, she added.

A country’s natural heritage is its environment and natural resources like gold and water.

Prof. Entsua-Mensah noted that Ghana’s biodiversity was rapidly being degraded through the spread of invasive species, over-harvesting of flora and fauna, and illegal mining activities among other things.

Touching on the fishing industry, she said the sector constituted eight per cent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and it was imperative for the authorities to manage the sector well to derive the needed gains for economic growth.

The Artisanal marine fisheries sector is the backbone of the fishing industry and contributes 73 per cent of the total marine fish landings annually, she said.

She urged government to address the challenges concerning overfishing, human settlements and industrial developments, and Volta Lake tree harvesting for sustained growth of the sector.

Prof. Entsua-Mensah expressed concern about the rampant destruction on the environment, especially illegal mining in most of the country’s river basins, causing severe damage on the ecosystem.

Professor Entsua-Mensah said the activities of illegal mining had affected water bodies which was key to food security.

She mentioned chemical fertilizers and pesticides, chemicals from mining, and rapid population growth, which had made water resources ungovernable.

In managing waste, she called for recycling, which would help address the huge environmental challenges in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency