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07.03.2006 General News

Identify trans-boundary problems for solutions - Agambila

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Accra, March 7, GNA - Dr Gheysika Agambila, Deputy Minister of Environment and Science, on Tuesday urged member nations of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) Project to identify common trans-boundary problems and come out with practical proposals to solve them.

"To regain control over our marine resources and ensure their effective management, we must choose and use the advantage of partnership. It is only through partnership and united action, that we can build our regional capacity to fully address our trans-boundary challenges, using appropriate techniques and strategies," he said. Dr Agambila was addressing about 32 participants attending a four-day workshop on "Methodology of Nutrients Monitoring/Reduction Strategies" which opened in Accra on Tuesday. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus occur naturally in water, soil and air, and although essential to life, its excesses are often harmful to aquatic life.

Dr Agambila said it was imperative that the various Environmental Protection Agencies in member countries established quality standards for the discharge of effluents. "Ghana's EPA is currently working towards the establishment of quality standards for the discharge of effluents." The GCLME Project, which involves 16 countries along the Gulf of Guinea stretching from Senegal to Angola, is aimed at combating living resources depletion and coastal area degradation through ecosystem-based actions.

Urging participants to take the workshop seriously, Dr Agambila said opportunities provided by such a forum, gave members an environment to share and discuss the strengths and weaknesses to develop sector specific policies and strategies to fully address the problems. Professor Chidi Ibe, Regional Director, GCLME, said the workshop would discuss national reports on nutrients and water quality monitoring with the hope that a regional protocol would be developed for nutrient monitoring in the GCLME region.

Professor Chris Gordon, Dean for International Programmes, University of Ghana, Legon, urged governments to implement 'The Polluter Pays' principle to fight environmental degradation.