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Business News of Monday, 29 January 2018

Source: ghananewsagency.org

France supports Ghana in ratifying UN Convention on Watercourses

France has supported Ghana in ratifying the United Nations (UN) Convention on Watercourses and the UN Water Convention.

A statement issued by the France Embassy in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said water resource management was of paramount importance, not only for the economic development of the countries concerned, but also to avoid conflicts.

It said as indicated by the French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr François Pujolas: "Water should not be a source of division but rather a factor of cooperation between States."

The statement said the UN estimates that 40 percent of conflicts are related to natural resources.

It said this situation was aggravated by climate change in particular, because of its impact on land degradation and desertification.

It said Ghana had important transboundary watercourses (Volta, Tano and Bia River Basins) that contribute greatly to the socio-economic development of the country.

The statement said it was important that Ghana cooperated fully with its riparian neighbours, other countries worldwide on the subject of international watercourses.

It said acceding to global water conventions could help Ghana to better foster and strengthen transboundary water cooperation.

It said the two global agreements open to Ghana’s participation, as a United Nations Member State, were “The 1992 UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (1992 Water Convention)and the 1997 UN Convention on Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1997 Watercourses Convention).”

The statement said Ghana did sign the 1997 Watercourses Convention and 1992 Water Convention had been opened to all countries globally.

It said Ghana was not a party to the Conventions, but still has to ratify them because the majority of the world's rivers and water resources are internationalised.

It said Ghana was no exception; adding that, “Ghana is not a party to the Conventions, but could benefit from consenting to it”.

It said this ratification would establish rules for the use, development, conservation, management and protection of international watercourses and promote their optimal and sustainable use for the benefit of present and future generations, and therefore aims to maintain good relations with neighbouring states.

“It also includes the preservation of ecosystems; the prevention, reduction and control of pollution and the protection and preservation of the marine environment,” the statement said.

It said France strongly supports Ghana's ratification of these conventions.

It said through the “Agence Française de Développement” (AFD), the French government’s development policy arm, France participated in projects in Ghana to improve water management.

It cited the rehabilitation of the Kpong power station in order to secure hydroelectric production in the long term, allow irrigation of important agricultural areas, while reducing the use of fossil fuels.

“Through this type of project, France actively participates in the sound management of Ghana's water resources in order to promote development and stability,” the French Ambassador said.

It said these two conventions were the preferred instruments for implementing objectives six (water and sanitation) and 16 (peace, justice, institution-building) of Agenda 2030 for UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Furthermore France wishes to encourage dialogue on the issue of water resource management between Member States and UN agencies such as UNESCO on surface and groundwater resources, as well as UNICEF and World Health Organisation on the links between water resources and people's access to drinking water,” it said.

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