The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday, launched the 2016 State of the Environment (SoE) Report to serve as the baseline for examining trends in environment and natural resources management in the country.
The baseline report would feed into efforts aimed at establishing an environmental accounting system in Ghana based on the System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA) central framework.
The report is expected to assist in tracking progress on the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDG) and sustainability obligations being useful to relevant institutions in the execution of their mandates.
Since 2004, there has not been any report on the state of the environment from the EPA and therefore the 2016 report, which gives detailed account on the status of environmental resources could serve as the baseline.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Dr Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation said it was important that Ghanaians change their attitude towards the issue pertaining to the environment.
He said nature and posterity would not forgive every Ghanaian who had been contributing to distraction of the environment in any way and called on all and sundry to desist from mismanaging the environment.
The Sector Minister said it was relevant for all to contribute towards ensuring that filth was not part of environment as no country could develop in filth.
“I have not seen a country developed in filth and developed nations are not filthy so if we cannot device strategy to deal with our waste, then we will find it difficult to devise strategies to develop other sectors of the economy,” he added.
Mr John Pwamang, the Acting Executive Director said the report would be instrumental in the execution of mandates and implementation of policies, plans and programmes of ministries, departments and government agencies.
He said the private sector, which is becoming increasingly responsive to issues of environmental sustainability would also find the 400 paged document very timely as well as Civil Society Organisations, academia, research organisations and think tanks.
He said in order to ensure regular update of the state of the country’s environmental resources, EPA would undertake and present the SoE triennially to all stakeholders.
Professor Chris Gordon, an Environment Expert from the University of Ghana and the Coordinating Lead Author for the Report said the research disclosed clearly that sources of water and its quality had been in serious decline.
Prof Gordon said for the country to get the best out of the natural environment and develop it, there was the need to put environment at the centre of decision making.
He also said the air quality in Accra was not the best of situation because air quality in parts of the capital exceeded the World Health Organisation’s guidelines and the EPA Ghana limit.