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27.02.2007 General News

Poverty not excuse to degrade environment – Asmah

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Research by an international team of experts in 2004 estimated that 15 to 37 per cent of species would become extinct by the year 2050 due to global warning alone.

Minister for Fisheries Mrs Gladys Asmah who made this known at regional workshop on biodiversity therefore urged national, sub-regional, regional and international stakeholders to be concerned with the conservation of biological diversity.

In a speech read for her on Monday at a regional workshop of the Technical Group on Biodiversity at the Interim Guinea Current Commission (IGCC), Mrs Asmah said people who lived within the Guinea Current Large Maritime Ecosystem (GCLME) region hid behind the cloak of high poverty rate to degrade the environment.

She said though the sub-region was endowed with wealthy biodiversity, population growth and poverty had imapcted negatively on the resources. She urged citizens to desist from hifding pehind poverty to degrade the environment.

Mrs Asmah urged experts from the 16 countries within the GCLME at the workshop to formulate policies that would help rescue the sub-region. She said the workshop should come up with updated national and regional biodiversity action plans and list of collections for the regional biodiversity Museum.

Professor Chidi Ibe, Executive Secretary of IGCC, welcoming the delegates, said the workshop was the first of several specialized events to formulate and fine-tune policies to meet the challenges of the commission. He said natural resources were the basis for life as natural biodiversity could provide food, medicine, leisure and aesthetic values to the population.

Professor Ibe said the fate of biodiversity was at stake as scientists acknowledged that the rate of species loss was greater now than at any time in human history. He said most of the species extinction was due to human activities in particular the destruction of essential habitats.

The GCLME, a UNIDO sponsored project aimed at combating fisheries depletion, water pollution and public health challenges, was recently transformed into an interim Commission.

Source: GNA

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