Presidency launches ocean governance study


The SDGs Advisory Unit in the Office of the President, in collaboration with the Institute of Environment and Sanitation Studies of the University of Ghana, has launched an Oceans Governance Study (OGS) for the country, to identity best ways to maximize gains on that front for the nation.

The meeting, which was witnessed by high profile stakeholders in the sector, provided the platform for the High-Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy in charge of the OGS for the nation, briefed participants on key parameters of the study and work done so far.

The study is an initiative by the Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (DOALOS) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), which is supporting countries to conduct an analysis of national frameworks for ocean governance.

The lead consultant on the project, Prof. Kwasi Appeaning Addo, said the OGS will among others, provide a high-level overview of Ghana’s legal and institutional framework for oceans, help identify challenges and prioritise capacity gaps in the development and implementation of frameworks for oceans.

The stakeholders alluded to the importance of the OGS and called for the study to be inclusive while ensuring consistency with other previous and ongoing ocean related initiatives.

They further noted that the study should pay attention to land-based activities that have adverse impact on the ocean.

“We need to chart a new relationship with the ocean to deliver a sustainable ocean economy. Our goal is to sustainably manage 100 percent of the ocean within our national jurisdiction and this can only be done, with your support and commitment.

We urge you to join what is emerging as a progressive coalition of champions for ocean health that is so key for us to maximise the wealth of the ocean for present and future generations,” Dr. Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President on the SDGs, stated.

The event was attended by about 40 participants including Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Gunnar Andreas Holm, and Professor Chris Gordon, Expert in Aquatic Resource Management and Coastal Wetlands, as well as other high-level representatives from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC), Marine Police Unit, Ghana Navy, Ghana Boundary Commission and Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA).

Others included Aker Energy, Tullow Ghana Limited, Ghana Ports and Habours Authority and Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission among others.

Established in September 2018, the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy (the ocean panel) is a unique body composed of 14 heads of state and government, which seeks to build momentum towards a sustainable blue economy. The ocean panel is committed to the sustainable management of 100 percent of the ocean area under national jurisdiction, guided by sustainable ocean plans, by 2025.

The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a member of the Ocean Panel, alongside heads of states of Australia, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan and Kenya among others.

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