EPA moves to include natural capital in dev’t process


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has initiated steps toward integrating natural capital accounting (NCA) into the country’s development planning process, the Agency’s Executive Director Dr. Henry Kokofu has revealed.

The process, which has support from the World Bank Global Programme on Sustainability (GPS) and is in partnership with the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and Ghana Statistical Service, will support biodiversity management; strengthen capacity for the NCA; mainstream into policy dialogue and contribute to informing investments into projects, including the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Programme (GLRSSMP) among others.

Dr. Kokofu was speaking at a pre-forum media engagement on NCA in Accra, and said natural capital represents the stock of natural assets including minerals, land, soil, air, water and forests. He said it is therefore important to sustainably manage these resources to better inform policy- and decision-making.

“If we are going to be able to sustainably manage our natural capital, then there is a strong need to use quality, reliable and timely data with statistics which can be generated through the NCA, guided by the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Central Framework,” Dr. Kokofu noted.

Ghana, the EPA said, derives so much wealth and a wide range of ecosystem services from other key NCA related resources; such as food, plant materials for fuel, medicines and carbon storage among others.

Director of Administration at Ghana Statistical Service, Kwadwo Asante, said NCA is very critical as there is currently a new global programme for sustainability that is advocating a different system in calculating Gross Domestic Product, taking into consideration the natural capital of countries.

“With that, the GSS has resolved to collaborate strongly with the EPA to undertake this activity. What we’ll be doing going forward is undertake systems of environmental and economic accounting whereby the natural capital of Ghana will be factored into our GDP,” he said.

The NCA programme, according to the EPA and its stakeholders, will embark on high level sensitisation forums in the coming weeks to engage on systems of environmental-economic accounting for agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and air-pollution.

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