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28.07.2004 General News

Document on sustainable dev't to be out soon

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Accra, July 28, GNA - A final draft of the first ever document on selection of sustainable development indicators for Ghana would be presented to Cabinet for approval in September.

The document, which has gone through the review stages, is expected to be ready before the end of the year.

Speaking at a day's workshop in Accra to collect inputs on the document, Mr Edward Nsenkyire, Chief Director of the Ministry of Environment and Science, said the document would be presented at the United Nations 13th General Meeting on Sustainable Development in March next year.

The document contains indicators expected to provide information and promote dialogue on the state of sustainable development among decisions makers.

It would provide an early warning for the nation to prevent any economic, social and environmental catastrophes that may occur. The national indicators document has targeted policy makers, organs of the United Nations, multilateral donors and technical units of government departments, agencies and district assemblies.

Mr Nsenkyire said an early problem of establishing the link between national strategies and indicators had been identified. "To forestall this early problem, let me advise that a concerted effort be made to keep a close eye on the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy which is the development action plan."

Dr Stephen Duah-Yentumi, a Sustainable Development Advisor at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said the document reflected the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that spelt out major development challenges humanity faced at the start of the millennium and quest for a peaceful, secure, and poverty free world.

He said the MDG's adopted in the year 2000 was to incorporate the principles of sustainable development into countries' polices to enable them to reverse loss of environmental resources.

He said the national development indicator document required an effective long-term strategy and leadership commitment and urged Ghana to look into that direction.

Dr Duah-Yentumi recommended the establishment of a coordinating mechanism for testing the outlined indicators in the document to facilitate networking among stakeholders.

Professor Chris Gordon of the Department of Zoology, University of Ghana and a facilitator of the workshop, said data collection was very difficult because the data was "just not available due to low research output".

Prof. Gordon who outlined some of problems in addition to the inadequate database, mentioned lack of funds for research, institutional coordination and lack of human resource.

He called for the strengthening of the human resource capacity by upgrading capacity of professionals and the middle level manpower and an increase the number personnel in data analysis.