Regional News of Monday, 1 November 2010

Source: GNA

Journalists schooled on the Rio Conventions

Akosombo, Nov. 1, GNA - Selected journalists in Accra have been educated on the Rio Conventions, some key International Principles on environmental management, to enable them to track Ghana's progress since the country is a signatory to the conventions.

The three Rio Conventions are a set of principles agreed to by countries at the end of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 1992.

The Conventions which focus on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification would streamline a country's way of contributing to the sustainable development, Dr Erasmus Owusu, Lecturer at the Department of Animal Biology and Conversation Science at the University of Ghana said.

At a workshop held over the weekend to build the capacity of journalists on the subject, Dr Owusu explained that the Convention on Biological Diversity served as a guide in the conservation of biological diversity, such as animals and plants and helped in the sustainable use of the natural resources, as well as ensure the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the commercial and other utilization of the resources.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, he said, also aimed to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa, through effective actions at all levels, while the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.

Dr Owusu pointed out that if Ghana was able to enforce all the conventions, it would ensure that food production was not threatened to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. He advocated for the establishment of an environmental desk at the presidency to ensure that Government achieved the Better Ghana Agenda.

Dr Raymond Babanawo, Coordinator of the Ghana Environmental Conventions Coordinating Authority (GECCA), a secretariat set up to coordinate and ensure the effective implementation of the three Rio Conventions, said the Authority planned to develop an institutional framework that would address the environmental and developmental concerns confronting Ghana.

He called on the media to make efforts to study the conventions and help educate the public on the issues raised since sound environmental management was directly linked to poverty reduction.