Maiden Environmental Sustainability Summit comes off today

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Environmental Sustainability Summit
  • focus on minimising pollution
  • food security, sustainability
  • environmental protection

The Business & Financial Times’ (B&FT) maiden Environmental Sustainability Summit is scheduled for today July 20, 2022 at the Tang Palace Hotel in Accra.

Under the theme ‘The Socio-Economic Impact of Pollution on Natural Life’, the Summit among other things seeks to create environmental sustainability awareness and explore the socio-economic impact of environmental pollution on natural life.

Director of Operations at the B&FT, Dr. Daniel Anim, speaking on the event’s objectives said: “The platform will provide actionable learning and inspiration, and emphasise the need to ensure environmental preservation. The event will also analyse the impact of degradation and pollution on socio-economic growth, while eliciting opinions and inputs of key stakeholders with a solution-oriented approach”.

Expert panel discussions

At the event, panellists are expected to discuss and analyse the impact of pollution on water-bodies, soil fertility and food sustainability, as well as its impact on overall GDP growth of the economy.

“The issues of solid waste pollution, air pollution and pollution due to activities of oil and gas companies will equally be addressed by the expert panel,” Dr. Anim indicated.

Key topics to be addressed include: organisational footprints on the environment; individual, social and economic footprints on the environment; activities of upstream and downstream oil and gas and their impact on natural life and the environment; and the contributions of oil and gas companies to environmental sustainability.

Participants

The Summit is designed as an annual event and will engage government institutions and universities with focus on sustainability, and CSOs and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.

Why environmental sustainability is key

Recent data and figures on Ghana’s environmental sustainability performances continue to look bleak despite the efforts of government.

Ghana, according to the Global Forest Watch, has lost a total of 1.41 million hectares of tree cover from 2001 to 2021 – equivalent to a 20 percent decrease in forest cover over the last twenty years, with 740 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

The report also indicated that the country’s deforestation rate is high and concentrated in the areas of high poverty, with land use changing from forests to agriculture lands and causing close to 92 percent of forest degradation.

Equally, data from the Ministry of Finance indicate that since 1900 Ghana has lost over 8 million hectares of forest cover, with almost one million hectares lost in the last few years.

Since 1960, average annual mean temperature according to the Finance Ministry has increased by one degree Celsius; average number of hot days increased about 13 percent, while the number of hot nights per year increased by 20 percent.

In 2017 alone, the effects of environmental degradation in Ghana, according to the MoF, was estimated at US$6.3billion.

Globally, an estimated loss of over 10 million hectares of tropical forests was recorded in 2020 alone.

Key speakers

Key dignitaries and experts who will address participants at the Summit include Lands and Natural Resource Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor; Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Dr Kwaku Afriyie; Executive Director of Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Kwabena Kokofu; and Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Jeroen Verheul, among several others.

 

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