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Minister of Environment opens two-day workshop on Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity

June 19, 2024
Minister of Environment opens two-day workshop on Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity1

Madam Ophelia Mensah Hayford, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation () today opened a two-day workshop on Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in African Blue Economy (CABABE). 

It will support Ghana technically in aligning and domesticating relevant key global instruments related to aquatic biodiversity and climate change. 

Organised by MESTI through the InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) with funding from Swedish under a three-year project christened “Conserving Aquatic Biodiversity in African Blue Economy” and being implemented in 55 AU member States. 

Madam Hayford said the country had started developing a road map towards the ratification of the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) towards conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. 

She explained that exhausting the processes and ensuring strict compliance would contribute to by contributing to building back fisheries stock, protecting life under sea, protecting jobs of the over two million in the fisheries value chain and fulfilling international commitments. 

Madam Hayford acknowledged that the country's aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems was threatened by actions, including overexploitation of species, pollution from land-based municipal and agricultural activities, mining and invasive species. 

Those, she noted, had a cumulative impact that adversely affected aquatic bodies' resources, livelihood of communities, especially youth, women and children. 

With the technical support, adequate and timely funding, the Minister said respective governments would take the necessary steps to develop and implement robust policies and enforcement mechanisms to reverse the challenges and minimise the attendant risks. 

Dr Huyam Salih, the Director of AU-IBAR in a statement delivered on his behalf said the continent was endowed with networks of freshwater Rivers, Lakes, Seas, Oceans, that provided sources of livelihoods, food security and wealth. 

He said to adequately harness the associated opportunities in the aquatic ecosystems, Blue Economy development was identified as a major role for Africa's integrated socioeconomic transformation in the AU Agenda 2063. 

Dr Salih said strategies endorsed by AU Heads of States and Governments in 2020 as the blueprint to guide members to fully exploit the aquatic ecosystems endowments for an inclusive and sustainable Blue Economy would significantly contribute to Africa's transformation and growth. 

He called for the strengthening of the capacity of AU States to adhere to global best practices in conserving aquatic biodiversity and environmental management.  

Madam Peace D. Gbeckor-Kove, a Principal Programme Officer at the , stated that Ghana had signed, ratified and domesticated a number of Conventions relating to Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change Mitigation and Environmental Management but others were yet to complete the full cycle. 

“For now we have existing regulations, including Environment, Lands & Natural Resources, Fisheries, Energy, Transport and Water Resources Management,” she said. 
Madam Gbeckor-Kove urged stakeholder institution to take action to ratify conventions that Ghana had signed onto but yet to be domesticated. 

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