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Ghana committed to hosting marine ecosystem project

By gna
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Ghana is committed to becoming the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) project being executed by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The objective of the project, which began in November 2004, is to combat Living Resource Depletion and Coastal Area Degradation in 16 African countries within the GCLME through ecosystem-based regional actions.

Ms. Sherry Ayittey, Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, gave the assurance when a three-member delegation led by Mr Francois D'Adesky, Interim Representative of UNIDO, paid a courtesy call on her at the office.

Other members of the delegation were Dr Jacques Abe, Officer in Charge, GCLME and Mr Napoleon Gbolanyo, Administrative Officer, GCLME.

Ms. Ayittey said the management of the country's coastal line, promotion of tourism, training and research activities to build the capacity of students were some of the benefits that the country stood to gain from hosting the regional office of GCLME.

"We are worried about the erosion of the coastal line and environmental pollution so we would remove all the bottlenecks impeding the progress of the project and find a lasting solution to the accommodation problems facing the regional office of GCLME. There have been a lot of interruptions but we hope to resolve the issue to enable the project to become successful."

Ms. Ayittey said the successful execution of the GCLME project would go a long way to solve the environmental problems of countries along the gulf of Guinea.

Mr. Francois D'Adesky said due to the benefits that countries stood to gain from hosting the project, some African nations were clamouring to become hosts of GLME project.

"Through this project, a Marine Productivity and Bio-diversity Centre has been established at the Oceanography Department of the University of Ghana where students embark on research activities.”

Other benefits include a coastal monitoring contract to be awarded to the Water Research Institute and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for the monitoring of fisheries, environmental chemistry, hydro-zoology, micro biology and hydro botany for 4 years as well as the establishment of a waste stock exchange management system to convert waste products into raw materials.

Mr D'Adesky said some Ghanaians had been contracted to work for the project while others had been encouraged to participate in the numerous training workshops organized by GCLME in Accra.

The Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) Project is an ecosystem-based effort to assist countries adjacent to the Guinea Current Ecosystem to achieve environmental and resource sustainability.

This would be accomplished by shifting from short-term sector-by-sector driven management objectives to a longer-term perspective and from managing commodities to sustaining the production potential for ecosystem-wide goods and services.

A training workshop on Water Balanced Management organized by UNIDO and International Maritime Organization would take place on Tuesday.

Participants are expected to discuss the effects of Water Balanced Management on ship at sea and its ability to generate coastal pollution.