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Politics of Friday, 22 June 2012

Source: GNA

Ghana commits itself to sustainable development

Ms Sherry Ayittey, the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, has assured the international community that Ghana was making efforts to integrate the economic, social and the environment for sustainable development.

She said great strides had been made over the years to integrate the environment into both national development and sector plans of the country.

Ms Ayittey gave the assurance at a roundtable discussion on the way forward in implementing the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She said Ghana faced challenges in her efforts to develop strong institutions for sustainable development strategy formulation and implementation.

“These include issues of ownership, commitment, governance and participation, integration and coordination, technical, institutional and financial capacity, among others,” she said.

Ms Ayittey said the persistence of these challenges confronting sustainable development was one of the reasons why countries had re-converged to renew commitments to sustainable development.

She called for reinforced political commitments, but the most critical action should begin after the conference.

However, there was the need to intensify efforts to ensure that policies and development frameworks deliver tangible sustainable development solutions on the ground.

Ms Ayittey said transition to a green economy was a sector approach to sustainable development in which all green sectors were integrated into a national strategy.

She said Ghana was focusing her attention on green sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, water, forestry and urban management.

Ms Ayittey said, effective grassroots participation including the private sector and civil society organisations at the design and implementation stages were critical for sustainable development.

“Strengthening decentralised government administration and political processes, sensitisation and the creation of awareness at the local level will increase knowledge, promote sustainability and foster partnerships among policy makers,” she said.

She further stated that, implementing sustainable development especially in the area of transition to green economy within the context of poverty reduction would require huge financial resources.

She said Ghana having an agricultural economy was channeling resources from modernised agriculture through the value chain to the manufacturing and industry sector.

Ms Ayittey said, “This is the surest way of creating significant employment, eradicating poverty and transforming the economy”.**

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