Ghana, Norway hold discussions on management of oil, environment

Sherry Ayittey - Minister of Environment, Science and Technology

The Ghana Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST) on Thursday held an annual review meeting with its Norwegian partners on “Strengthening Environmental Management of the Oil and Gas Sector in Ghana”.

In addition, they discussed progress report for 2011, work plan, financial statement and budget for 2012.

The Ministry with support from the Government of Norway had been coordinating implementation of a programme on “Strengthening Environmental Management of the Oil and Gas Sector in Ghana,” being implemented principally by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The programme is aimed at ensuring that energy was produced and utilised in an environmentally sound manner and Ghana’s oil and gas resource endowment was managed to ensure the sustainability of the resource and the environment.

Components of the programme included,  policy, legal and institutional framework, environmental data, monitoring and information system, environmental assessment, spatial and land use, planning and coastal zone management, waste management, health and safety as well as risk assessment and emergency response.

Mr Kojo Agbenor-Efunam, Principal Programme Officer, EPA, in a presentation on the Plan of Work for 2012, said the Agency would be upgrading its laboratory in Accra and establish another one at its Western Regional Office, under the technical advice of its Norwegian consultants.

He said the Agency intended to design a strategic plan for its Petroleum Department based partly on experiences of an internship by EPA staff at the Climate and Pollution Agency (KLIF) in Norway, to ensure the smooth operation of Ghana’s laboratories.

Mr  Agbenor-Efunam stated that the policy and strategic development of MEST would be enhanced with the support of consultants from the Norwegian Ministry of Environment as well as from a local consultants.

He noted that an environmental offshore monitoring would be initiated; involving cost sharing with oil companies, and develop an expanded data management system with the Directorate for Nature Management.

Mr  Agbenor-Efunam  said EPA under its Environmental Assessment for 2012, would complete, publish and launch the Strategic Environmental Assessment Report on oil and gas development.

Dr Mustapha Ahmed, Deputy Minister of MEST, noted that the establishment of a Petroleum Department within EPA placed the Agency in readiness to deal with expected challenges that might arise within the oil and gas sector.

Source: GNA

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