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15.06.2005 General News

Conference to discuss desertification in Ghana

GNA

Accra, June 15, GNA - Government officials, Development Partners and representatives of Civil Society would hold a day's conference in Accra on Thursday to discuss the implementation of the National Action Programme to Combat Drought and Desertification (NAP), prepared by the Government in 2002.

The Conference, according to a statement from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), would provide an opportunity to coordinate action for effective desertification control in Ghana. The Conference would identify areas of interventions by different partners; strengthen partnership arrangements for the promotion of sustainable land management in the country; step up efforts towards the effective coordination of resources and help to identify additional resources towards the implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Ghana.

The Conference is being organised by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), UNDP and the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UNCCD. The organisations are collaborating to champion the implementation of the UNCCD in Ghana and to lift desertification to the forefront of the development agenda.

UNCCD came into force in 1996. The Government of Ghana ratified the Convention on 27 December 1996.

In Ghana, about 35 per cent of the country's total land area is prone to desertification and the Upper East and the Eastern part of the Northern Region are the most vulnerable.

The statement said the most vulnerable zone to desertification was the Northern Savannah, which covered nearly half of the country. According to estimates, only 1.9 million hectares to two million hectares of the original 8.2 million hectares of the closed forest in Ghana remained.

"From the perspective of environment and sustainable development, the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) offers the most compelling challenge in Ghana in the years to come," the statement said.

"The Conference is an important step towards concerted action by all stakeholders - Government, donors, the civil society and private sector - with the common aim to enhance effective NAP implementation in Ghana," it said.

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