Ghana: EPA Launches 10-Yr Strategic Plan to Manage Waste, Chemicals

15 December 2022

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a 10 -year strategic plan to manage waste and chemicals in the country.

The strategic plan covers Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste (SMCW), Communication Strategy for SMCW and a National Action Plan for Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining.

Among others, the strategic plan would raise awareness and sensitise the general public, policy makers and other development partners on SMCW and Minamata Convention on Mercury.

Speaking at the launch on Tuesday, the Director for Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) at Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation, Lydia Essuah, said the stability of global ecosystems which humanity depended on was collapsing due to crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

According to her, these crises were mainly caused by unsound management of hazardous chemicals and waste in the country.

Thus, she said in order to reverse these catastrophes, it was important for the global community to develop and implement pragmatic strategies, measures and actions to address the interconnected environmental emergencies of climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution.

The Director for PPME stated that the government through Ghana's revised National Determined Contributions (NDCs) has set up over 34 mitigation and adaptation targets to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to meet the 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.

"Ghana continues to play active roles in the implementation of all the chemicals and waste-related multi-lateral environmental agreements (MEAs) notably the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions as well as the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)," she said.

"This launch of Ghana's 10-year Strategic Plan (2021-2030), the 5-year

Communication Strategy for SMCW and the National Action Plan on ASGM marks another significant milestone in Ghana's quest to addressing the triple planetary crises and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development (SDGs) within "the critical decade," she noted.

She stated that the government was committed to the implementation of strategies and action plans to safeguard the population and the environment from the adverse effects of chemicals and waste in the country.

"I would like to remind ourselves that environmental protection is a shared responsibility and it is our collective responsibility and opportunity to act now in order to safeguard our planet our future generations," she said.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Toxics and Human Rights, Mr Marcos Orellana, commended government for strengthening international instrument on chemicals and waste and also signing on to multi-lateral environmental agreements on them to promote sound management.

He said this would help the country in its fight against the unsound management of industrial chemicals, pesticides, mercury, electronic waste, plastics, another serious challenge on chemicals and waste in the country.

"My visit around the country has seen how illegal mining (galamsey) with the use of these chemicals was affecting water courses, miners, communities, not just in certain communities but over the country, threats water courses upon which people depend for their livelihood and their enjoyment of their rights to life, food , water and certainly a healthy environment," he said

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