General News Wed, 20 May 2009

EPA has no district offices in Northern Regions

Walewale (N/R), May 20, GNA - Participants at a two-day stakeholders' empowerment workshop have expressed concern about the absence of district offices of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the three Northern Regions, hampering the implementation of the environmental policies.

They have therefore called for the need to create offices in all districts, to ensure that environmental laws were implemented to salvage, the depletion of the vegetation cover, which stood the high risk of causing desertification. The participants raised these concerns at the workshop organized by Zasilari Ecological Farms Project (ZEFP), an NGO, on Tuesday at Walewale in the West Mamprusi District. The workshop sought to enable participants share environmental ideas and how to address them, so as to curb the depletion of the Northern vegetation.

The participants observed that since the initiation of the National Action Plan in 2003 to combat desertification in the country, the policy document was still not available for study and could not be implemented in any of the districts.

The participants said until the government took holistic measures to implement the policy and creating EPA offices in districts in the north, the environment would continue to lose its natural cover. Mr. Issifu Sulemana, the Project Coordinator of ZEFP said the government had some serious challenges in maintaining the natural resources and must therefore rise and adopt positive measures to meet those challenges.

He said ZEFP aimed at complementing government's efforts to improve the environmental governance through natural resource management and effective participation of civil society and local communities. Mr. Sulemana said government needed to improve environmental governance to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources to contribute to the economic growth and reduce poverty.

Source: GNA