Founder and Director of the World Sustainability Organization, Paolo Bray has called on the Government of Ghana to develop policies targeted at preventing the exploitation of the country’s natural resources.
Speaking in an interview with GHOne TV’s Natalie Fort, he noted although Ghana has an impressive story of economic growth, the impact of economic development on the country’s natural resources is alarming and must be reduced, while sustainability should be prioritized.
According to the World Bank Ghana Country Environmental Analysis (CEA), environmental degradation costs Ghana $6.3 billion annually, nearly 11% of Ghana’s 2017 GDP. Poor land management further leads to land degradation, costing over US$500 million a year and resulting in deforestation costing Ghana US$400 million annually.
“Government should set limits to the exploitation of natural resources while motivating and supporting both local and foreign companies in the change towards sustainable operations to preserve the country’s natural resources.” said the Founder and Director of the World Sustainability Organization, Paolo Bray.
Over the past 30 years, an increase in the price and production of cocoa, gold, and oil helped transform Ghana: real GDP growth quadrupled, extreme poverty dropped by half, and in 2011, Ghana moved to a Lower Middle-Income Country status.
However, in spite of the economic successes chalked, five million hectares of forest were lost between 2001 and 2015. Over the past decade, artisanal gold mining aggravated the degradation; as streams and rivers were dug up to find gold.
Global Leader in Sustainable Certification Programs, Paolo Bray further noted “Efforts by the Government of Ghana to clamp down on illegal mining are commendable, and the ban on illegal mining operations has yielded some results. However, the government should also proactively promote major conservation initiatives, develop policies to prevent degradation, expand protected areas and integrate them with the communities’ needs.”
He called for urgent action to prevent the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change on vulnerable people in Ghana.
The World Sustainability Organization is a global organization whose key objective is the conservation of ecosystems, aimed at protecting critical habitats and endangered species globally by means of the sustainability certifications – Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth and the related conservation and awareness projects, it is headquartered in Italy.