Civil Society Organizations under the Kasa Initiative Ghana have bemoaned the neglect of policies to address sustainable management of environment and natural resources in the manifestoes of the two leading political parties in the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the New Democratic Congress (NDC).
From an analysis of the political manifestos, the two parties paid little or no attention to the Natural Resource and Environment (NRE) governance and management issues compared to other sectors of the economy.
“In terms of the political manifestos that come out as blueprints for development, we did analysis of the two key parties’ manifestoes and realized that there’s a big gap in terms of sustainable management of natural resources. We urge political parties to integrate sustainable management of our resources in their political manifestoes,” the Kasa Initiative Ghana coordinator, Jonathan Gokah said in an interview.
He added that even though the manifestoes are already out, sustainable management of resources must be considered in the practicality of the manifestos of whichever party wins the general election.
On the part of the Deputy National Chairman of A Rocha Ghana, Daryl Bosu, crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental destruction in the country, demand urgent action to bolster poverty reduction and a future for the youth while also protecting Ghana’s biodiversity and natural environments.
According to Mr. Bosu, in the aspect of Protecting Forests, Wildlife and Biodiversity, there is no commitment to pass the Wildlife Resources Management Bill. Also, he noted there was no targets on size of natural forest to be protected, no commitments for wildlife or biodiversity protection (only one mention by each party).
“There was also no mention of dealing with illegal hardwood logging (Including rosewood and shea trees), or illegal trapping and trade of other wildlife species, only some general initiatives to tackle illegal logging and mining.”
The themes that guided the analysis include, Protecting Forests, Wildlife, and Biodiversity; Mining and Environment; Climate Change; Ecological Agriculture; Clean Water; Green Development and Circular Economy; Nature based Solutions; COVID-19 and Nature; and the Dependencies and Impacts of the Development Agendas on Ecosystem Services” he said.
The CSOs however emphasized that a “government that is forward thinking by applying sustainable solutions and green innovations to the many challenges facing Ghana is one that commits to poverty reduction not only for today but for tomorrow.”
Suggestions from the CSOs
Among suggestions the CSOs proposed include phasing out single use plastics, increasing the participation of the private sector in renewable energy development in Ghana.
They also suggested that the government should end illegal mining and ensure compliance to Ghana’s mining laws to improve small-scale mining and a priority to end all forms of mining in the remaining protected forest reserves, a national policy and legal frameworks to safeguard all watersheds and riverine ecosystems from land use conversion.