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15.08.2005 Regional News

Environment experts meet on depletion of living resources


Accra, Aug. 15, GNA - A four-day workshop on Trans-boundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and Strategic Action Programme (SAP) aimed at standardizing procedures and formats of TDA's processes in line with other international water projects opened in Accra on Monday. The workshop is the outcome of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME), one of the projects of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, with responsibility of combating living resources depletion and coastal area degradation through ecosystem-based regional actions.

About 40 experts drawn from 16 project countries in the West Africa Sub-Region, cooperating agencies the UN, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholder communities are attending the workshop expected to gain greater insight into the TDA/SAP development process.

Trans-boundary Diagnostic Analysis is a scientific and technical assessment through, which the water related environmental issues and problems of a region are identified and quantified, their causes analysed and their impacts, both environmental and economic, assessed. Mr Edward Osei Nsenkyire, Chief Director Ministry of Environment and Science, said the analysis involved the identification of causes and levels, and socio-economic, political and institutional context within which they occurred.

He said the workshop would help to provide the necessary skills information and approaches required for developing TDA/SAP. He said operating countries had identified problems that had led to unsustainable fisheries and use of other marine resources, as well as the degradation of marine and coastal system by human activities.

Mr Nsenkyire explained that GCLME's long-term goals included restoration of degraded habitats and reduction in land and ship-based pollution through the establishment of a regional management framework for sustainable use of living and non-living resources in the ecosystem. He said attention was focused on certain priority areas including reversing coastal area degradation and living resources depletion, and relying heavily on regional capacity building.

Mr Nsenkyire said Ghana was experiencing severe coastal erosion citing the Keta sea erosion in the Volta Region and coastal areas in Sekondi/Takoradi in the Western Region.

He said coastal mangroves, which served as breeding grounds for fish, had been destroyed, adding that industrial waste, which was pumped into the sea and sand winning, threatened the ecosystem and the livelihood of the people in the areas.

He said, even though, there had not been any oil pollution, measures must be taken against any such occurrence, adding that the problem was a trans-boundary one because if one country was affected it would by all means spread to neighbouring countries.

That was why all countries covering the Gulf of Guinea had come together to deliberate on how to fight it, Mr Nsenkyire said. Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister of Regional Cooperation and New Partnership for Africa's Development, in a speech read for him, said he had been attracted by the trans-boundary nature of the project, which stretched from Guinea Bissau to Angola.

He said the Ministry would do everything within its mandate to provide the needed support towards the achievement of the goals and objectives of the GCLME project. 15 Aug. 05