The government is committed to finding innovative ways of halting coastal erosion which is taking its toll on the country’s shorelines, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation has said.
He said, this year, government committed more than 200 million dollars to addressing coastal erosion in hotspots, with 150 million dollars from the amount on Western Region coastal fronts.
The minister said this when he opened the second round of workshops on the Second Cycle of the United Nations Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, including socio-economic aspects for the South Atlantic Region in Accra yesterday.
Workshop was intended to support the collection of regional level information and data for the preparation of the Second World Oceans Assessment.
The regular process set up to regularly review the environment, economic and social aspects of the world’s oceans was in pursuant to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 71/157, and as a follow-up to implementation of U.N. General Assembly Resolutions 57/141, 58/249 and 65/30 which culminated in the first ever global report of the assessment of the State of Oceans and Socio-Economic Aspects.
Addressing participants from Africa, the Americas and Caribbean, Prof. Frimpong Boateng said the South Atlantic and the wider Caribbean were at the moment experiencing the scourge of influx of the sea weed, sargassum, with its attendant disruptive effects on fishery, coastal tourism and more importantly livelihoods of coastal communities.
He said Ghana for instance was losing about 2.7 million square for shoreline annually due to sea erosion making cost for coastal infrastructure enormous.
“The government of Ghana is committed to finding innovative ways of halting the shorelines recession by seriously considering a mix of hard and soft engineering solutions to deal with these problems,” he said.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the demand of increasing commerce and industrialisation have imposed a great pressure on seas and their resources, adding that, the upsurge of these activities and the manner in which they were pursued were unfortunately generating increasing degradation of sensitive eco-systems, pollution, depletion of living marine resources, coastal erosion and other effects of climate change.
“Perhaps, we need to mobilise more resources and passion to provide the needed advocacy and create awareness on the findings of the assessment for mobilising action to save our oceans,” he said.
Mr. John Pwamang, the acting Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency said it was commendable that the world was committed to halting and reversing the decline, in the health and productivity the ocean and its eco-system in order to protect and restore its resilience and ecological integrity through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other multilateral and environmental agreements.
He said there was the need for an urgent global action to reduce the pressures of humanity on the oceans since the first ocean assessment warned that the ocean was facing major pressures simultaneously with such great impacts that was limiting its carrying capacity.
Mr. Pwamang said it was his hope that the second assessment to be published in 2020 would provide information on how the oceans have fared since the first report was released in 2015.
By Lawrence Markwei