The sixth National Policy Summit (NPS), scheduled to take place from 26 to 27 in Cape Coast will focus on Goal 14 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: life below water.
The Minister for Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, gave the hint at the launch of the sixth NPS on Monday in Accra.
NPS is a public-private initiative by the Information Ministry which is designed to bring together policymakers, business leaders, industry players, academia and civil society organisations to brainstorm, interact and dialogue on topical issues of national importance.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour explained that goal 14 of the SDGs recommends that oceans, seas and marine resources are conserved and use sustainably, adding that the oceans make human life possible, and that more than 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal diversity for their livelihoods.
He said the oceans absorb about 30 percent of the carbon dioxide that humans produce. Records show that more carbon dioxide is being produced than ever before and that makes the oceans extra acidic and to compound the situation, about 13,000 pieces of plastic found on every square kilometer of the ocean is becoming a huge challenge, the minister said.
"In the same vein, SDG 6 encourages the availability and sustainable management of water and provide sanitation for all. As we all know, clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in and there is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this", he added.
"You will agree with me that, Information sharing is critical in creating awareness, promoting transparency and participation in decision making at all levels of society. This is critical for inclusive development and it is consistent with Sustainable Development Goal 17", Prof. Gyan-Baffour added.
The summit will also address issues facing humanity such as famines, drought, wars, plagues, poor sanitation and poverty.
Topics to be discussed include, Promoting a Total National Sanitation Campaign, Protecting Fisheries and Aquaculture for Sustainable Food Supply and Job Creation, Preventing Sanitation Related Flooding, a shared Responsibility and Efficient delivery of Premix Fuel, support to small scale fisher folk.
The opening ceremony will be on Sunday afternoon while the main programme, comprising four parallel sessions in the morning and afternoon, will be held on Monday.
The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye and the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, are the lead speakers.