The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, is facilitating the creation of a body that would ensure the effective implementation of international environmental rules.
The proposed body to be called, “Ghana Environmental Convention Co-ordinating Authority (GECCA)” is expected to work with all stakeholders involved in environmental sustainability including the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney General’s Department to enforce environmental laws.
Ms Sherry Ayittey, the Sector Minister said Ghana had signed many conventions aimed at promoting environmental sustainability however; these laws were not being implemented due to ineffective co-ordination.
At a workshop to review a draft document that proposes the creation of the body, Ms Ayittey explained that Ghana ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994, Convention on Climate Change in 1996 and Convention to Combat Desertification in 1997.
“However, the implementation of these conventions has been uncoordinated at varying stages and levels. At the national level, all three conventions fall under the purview of different Ministries, Department and Agencies, which deal with them with a high degree of disconnect.”
The workshop brought together about 30 organisations made up of selected Ministries, Department and Agencies, NGOs and civil society organisations that promote environmental sustainability.
Ms Ayittey mentioned inadequate institutional capacity and limited awareness about convention obligations and benefits as well as inadequate regulatory framework as some cross-cutting problems that hamper the effective implementation of such conventions.
She therefore urged participants to make necessary inputs into the document to ensure the smooth creation of GECCA.
The Minister said Ghana was the first Sub-Saharan English speaking country to start the co-ordination of these environmental conventions and expressed the hope that the project would serve as a model for other countries.
Mr John Mason, Executive Director of Nature Conservation Research Centre, said the project could help Ghana achieve environmental sustainability.
Dr Nicholas Iddi, National Co-ordinator of the project, however, said a lot needed to be done to educate the public about these conventions to ensure smooth implementation of the international environmental laws.