The Bank would give financial and technical assistance funded by its PROBLUE programme – an umbrella Multi-Donor Trust Fund Partnership that supports integrated and sustainable economic development of healthy oceans.
The grant is expected to help Ghana manage its coastal and marine landscapes effectively, spur economic growth and reduce poverty, and enable the country to adapt to the effects of climate change.
Speaking at a stakeholder workshop in Accra on Thursday, Mr Dhruva Sahai, Acting Country Manager, World Bank Ghana CMU, said PROBLUE activities are to support the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development.
“The reason behind this implementation is to eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity equitably and sustainably, thereby, reduce the negative effects of plastic pollution on livelihoods, the fisheries and tourism sectors.”
Mr Sahai disclosed that a World Bank team have been on the ground for the past few weeks for the advancement of PROBLUE activities and stocktaking of the existing landscape in Ghana for a successful implementation of the programme.
Mr Oliver Boachi, Special Advisor to the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation said PROBLUE’s activities would give an added impetus to Ghana’s effort to reduce marine pollution, as well as protect the environment.
He noted that the choice of Ghana as the Chair of the African Group of Negotiators of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee positioned the country to play a prominent role in addressing the devastating menace of plastic pollution.
“The PROBLUE support programme that the World Bank Group is providing to the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), would effectively address the menace of plastic pollution in Ghana.
“This is perhaps the most significant and most ambitious attempt that the world is making to combat the devastating menace of plastic pollution,” he said.
Mr Grzegorz Peszko, a Lead Economist with the World Bank, called for partnerships within the plastic value chain to guarantee an integrated approach to addressing the problem to stimulate environmental, health and economic growth.
He also urged the Government to increase public financing and provide an enabling environment, including incentives for private sector investment, to support efforts to end the plastic waste threat.
Mr Peszko highlighted the need to put deliberate mechanisms in place to cause behavioural change to make Ghanaians see plastics as investment material rather than waste.
The World Bank Lead Economist said that such behavioural change would serve as the catalyst for the reduction of the indiscriminate disposal of plastic to reduce long-term environmental, health and economic impacts.