Monday, July 14, 2008

Ghana's approach to wetlands

Accra Daily Mail (Ghana): …In spite of the unparalleled benefits that wetlands offer to mankind, little attempt has been made by various authorities the world over to halt the on-going attack on wetlands.

In Ghana, wetlands have suffered directly from coastal shrimp fishermen, deforestation, pollution, dynamite fishing and farmers reclaiming lands for cropping whilst estate developers are blocking freshwater inflows and filling wetlands for roads and real estate development.

In recently times, the wetland behind the Ghana Trade Fair Centre in Accra, along the Kpeshie Lagoon is under serious attack from estate developers. Their motive is to reclaim the land by filing it with construction waste and refuse for estate development. It is in view of the above that a workshop was held by the Wildlife Division and Environmental Protection Agency to subject the 1999 National Wetlands Conservation strategy to the Strategic Environmental Assessment.

The above assessment sought to identify the key issues in the strategy, roles of various stakeholders in the wetlands management and to identify those to be involved in the smooth implementation of the strategy and action plan.

Subjecting the National Wetlands Conservation Strategy to strategic environment assessment should not be the last stop to save the dwindling fortunes of our wetlands. All efforts must be brought on board through a concerted effort from stakeholders identified by the strategy to protect this fragile ecosystem since it could hold the key to climate change adaptation in places where they occur in Ghana….

Map of Ghana from the CIA World Factbook, Wikimedia Commons

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