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General News | Feb 3, 2005

EPA moves to reduce pollution

GNA

Accra, Feb. 3, GNA - The Government through the Environmental Production Agency (EPA) is to establish a National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) to train industrialists and stakeholders to adopt prudent approaches that would reduce pollution and sustain consumption and production.

A site for the location of the centre, which would serve as a resource centre, has already been acquired in Tema in the Greater Accra Region by the EPA, which is still exploring avenues for funds and support to put it up.

The Centre, when established, would be the first in the sub-region that would facilitate and sustain Cleaner Productions (CP). It will also help to disseminate and replicate new technologies for the benefit of industries.

To that effect, a two-day National Roundtable discussion was on Thursday opened in Accra by the EPA for industrialists, manufacturers and other stakeholders to review current status and best practices in sustainable consumption and production and to lay down the basis for the institutionalisation of the NCPC to effectively deliver its responsibilities under the African Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production (ARSCP).

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in consultation with the ARSCP is collaborating with the EPA in holding the discussion, which is running under the theme: "Institutionalisation of Ghana Cleaner Production Centre for the Promotion of Sustainable Consumption and Production in the West African Sub-region".

Mr Kwadwo Affram Aseidu, Acting Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry opening the discussion said matters concerning the environment had become key issues in the production and consumption patterns throughout the world, including Ghana and that regulations were required to ensure that industry operated within certain limits of emission or waste generation.

He said such regulations, particularly in Ghana had been found to be silent on methodologies and techniques, therefore, the CPC could play a role in correcting the negative effects of existing industries on the environment.

He urged that the CPC when established should help change attitudes in industries by finding new approach to the relationship between industry and the environment and generate an industrial process that might produce the required results.

Professor Kasim Kasanga, outgoing Minister of Environment and Science, in a speech read for him said integrating sustainable consumption and production patterns to address poverty posed the challenges to production, products and services to socio-economic development.

He called for sustainable cleaner productions policy to drive the dissemination and the uptake of SCP to address the environmental challenges of poverty circles.

Mr Jonathan Allotey, Executive Director of EPA said in the Agency's effort at institutionalising CP in Ghana, it implemented a CP pilot project with support from UNIDO between September 2001 and September 2002 to create awareness of the business approach to environmental management to address industrial pollution in the country.

The demonstration project, carried out in 15 companies led to the development of a number of CP projects in the companies operating in the catchments of two wetlands in Accra and Tema- the Korle and Chemu II Lagoons.

Mr Allotey said the project focussed on demonstrating the advantages of CP in achieving the triple bottom line of environmental management, which are economic, social and environmental benefits as industries produced more with less wastes with the same amount of raw materials. That improved productivity, cost effectiveness and competitiveness in the market place.

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