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07.06.2004 General News

Don't wear party colours to environment functions - Odamtten

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Accra, June 7, GNA - Professor George Tawiah Odamtten, Dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Ghana, Legon on Monday warned against the wearing of party colours to functions dealing with the environment.

"Environmental problems do not put on party colours, but rather national colours, so we need not continue to shift blame about such issues from one government to the other."

He said: "We should rather take concrete steps at tackling such issues when they occur."

Prof. Odamtten was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop on Provision of Graduate Education in the Causes, Effects and Control of Environmental Problems in Ghana.

The workshop organized by the University of Ghana Graduate Environment Science programme with sponsorship from the Carnegie Corporation of New York is part of activities marking World Environment Day.

Prof. Odamtten said though stakeholders needed to think globally on issues relating to the environment, they should act locally in helping to solve such problems.

"Nobody would police our environment for us, we need to do it ourselves and work at arriving at solutions that would help us address such problems," he said.

He said the importance that the nation attached to its environment today would determine how its citizens would live tomorrow. Prof. Odamtten urged the Government to make it mandatory for manufacturers of plastic products to contribute towards the management of the country's waste.

Prof. Kwadzo Asenso -Okyere, Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Legon in a speech read on his behalf said for the increasing number of environmental issues, the difficulty was not to identify remedies.

"Remedies are now well understood. The problem is to make them socially, economically and politically acceptable," he said. He cited instances of foresters knowing how to plant trees, but not how to establish conditions under which villagers in developing countries would manage such plantation.

Engineers knowing how to control pollution, but not how to persuade factories to install the necessary equipment and city planners knowing how to build housing and design safe drinking water, but not how to make them affordable for the poorest members of society.

Environmental issues he noted were multi-faceted, with ecological, legal, social, economic, political and ethical dimensions, but there was paucity and poor quality of available information in the field, which needed to be tackled. 07 June 04

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