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The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), says the government has rolled out various interventions to control the degradation of Ghana’s coastal landscape.
Speaking at the Third Biennial Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment in Accra, on Monday, Dr Bawumia said in spite of the enormous benefits from the ocean to the country, the degradation threatened its sustainability and benefits.
The degradation, he noted, included coastal erosion caused by sea level rise, and pollution from municipal waste such as plastic and chemical pollution from illegal mining activities.
“The Ocean Panel, as it is called, is a special global initiative of 17 world leaders who pledged themselves to a new ocean programme to work at attaining a sustainable ocean economy”.
To strengthen that effort, a two-day maiden National Blue Economy Summit was held in Accra in May/June on the theme: “Our Ocean’s Heath, Our Prosperity, Our Planet’s Security”.
The Government has approved a loan of $150 million from the World Bank on the West Africa Coastal Area (WACA) programme to stem the tide of coastal degradation occurring
It had also begun various activities to fight IUU in the country’s waters.
“We are seriously regulating the license of foreign fishing vessels especially their fishing gears, where they fish and whether they have licenses or not.”
“In fact, some of these foreign vessels have been denied licenses already. We have also digitised the access to pre-mix fuel for artisanal fishing activities.”
The introduction of a digitised premix fueling station, Dr Bawumia said, was meant to automate the pre-mix fuel system to reduce issues such as hoarding, politicisation and diversion amongst others.
He said the government had also begun efforts to reduce the number of boats in the artisanal fishing sectors.
“Just like the Africa Union and taking from the AU submissions, our government believes that the ocean presents a huge opportunity to accelerate development and improve upon the well-being of the people of this country.”
“Ghana, with its extensive coastline, is committed to leading the charge towards a sustainable and inclusive Blue Economy.”
The Third Biennial Conference on Fisheries and Coastal Environment was on the theme: “Inclusive Blue Economy in Africa: Towards Sustainable Transformation and Resilience of the Marine Environment.”
It was organised by the Centre for Coastal Management – Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (CCM-ACECoR) of the University of Cape Coast with strategic partners, including the World Bank, WACA, USAID, and Vulnerability to Viability Global Partnership.
source by GNA