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08.11.2004 General News

Deputy boss of CSIR urges measures to conserve pollinators

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Cape Coast, Nov. 8, GNA- The deputy Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Professor Alfred Oteng -Yeboah, on Monday, urged the country's research institutions and other stakeholders, to support strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators, in order to mainstream and integrate them in cross -sectoral plans and programmes.

They, in this regard, should help identify, determine and recommend the correct or appropriate management practices, technologies and policies that promote positive impacts and mitigate negative impacts on pollinators.

Prof. Oteng-Yeboah, made the call, when he opened the 'second national partners workshop on conservation and management of pollinators for sustainable agriculture, through an ecosystem approach', at the University of Cape Coast (UCC).

The three-day workshop, is being attended by 20 'partners' of the 'pollination initiative project', made up of researchers from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), the various crop research institutes, some farmers as well as representatives of some NGOs.

Ghana is among seven nations selected worldwide, to pilot and provide a case-study for an international plan of action for the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators.

The three-day workshop, is therefore among others, geared towards identifying baseline information on pollinators and pollination for sustainable use, alternative scenarios for pollinators and pollination, and co-funding sources.

Prof. Oteng-Yeboah, enumerated programmes evolved at the international level since 1996, to "establish a multi-year programme of activities", to promote positive effects and mitigate the negative impacts of agricultural practices on biological diversity in agro-ecosystems and their interface with other ecosystems.

He said the plan of action for the international initiative for the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators, among others, aims at monitoring pollinator decline.

According to Prof Oteng-Yeboah, the plan, also consists of four main elements, such as an analysis of status and trends of the pollinator diversity and the underlying causes of its decline.

Another element, is to strengthen the capacities of farmers, indigenous and local communities and their organisations, other stakeholders to manage pollinator diversity, so as to increase its benefits, and promote awareness and responsible action, he said. Dr. Barbara Gemmill Herren, the global project co-ordinator for the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which is co-funding the 'pollination initiative project', was happy that developing countries, are making "very strong inputs" on the conservation of biodiversity. She said the GEF, which was set up about 14 years ago, among others, supports the development of knowledge base and capacity building and awareness creation.

In his welcoming address, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UCC, Prof Kobina Yankson, stressed the importance of the workshop as Ghana, is a signatory to the Convention on the conservation of biodiversity. He therefore told the 'partners', that the nation relied on them to work towards her realisation of the observation of the protocols on biodiversity.

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