Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies have been urged to attach seriousness to incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) into their medium term development plans as required by the country's Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II (GPRS II), to ensure sustainable development.
Mr Kwaku Adjei-Fosu, Principal Planning Analyst of the National Development Planning Commission who made the call, noted that out of the 133 District Assemblies that have submitted their Medium Term Development Plans, only nine of them including one from the Upper West Region had SEA in them.
The SEA's are environmental variables that have been integrated into the GPRS II to promote holistic development.
He said this in a paper presented at a one-day awareness creation workshop on SEA at Wa on Monday, which was organized by the Environmental Protection Agency for District Chief Executives, Planning and Budget Officers and officials from relevant agencies in the Upper West Region.
He said for the country attain its goal of reaching middle income level by the year 2015, policies and programmes must support each other in a sustainable way in order to improve those designed to help the poor.
Mr David Yakubu, Regional Coordinating Director said the need to manage the environment well was critical now than ever, because of the fast rate at which the population was growing.
He observed that if the environment had been well managed, the impact of the recent floods that brought about severe human suffering in the affected areas would have been minimized.
Mr Kwabena Badu Yeboah, a Resource Person who is also an official of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the SEA is a proactive tool that has been designed to ensure sound environmental management.
He said in drawing their development plans, the District Assemblies should ensure that there is a resource base to regenerate programmes so that development could be sustainable.
Mr Asher Nkegbe, Acting Regional Director of the EPA noted that there was a marked improvement in the relationship between the EPA and the District Assemblies in the region.
He announced that the Agency was giving financial support to the Lawra and Jirapa/Lambussie District Assemblies to finance their environmental programmes.