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General News Wed, 30 Jun 2010

Ghana to host Secretariat for Guinea Current Commission

Accra, June 30, GNA - Ghana is ready to host the Secretariat of the Permanent Guinea Current Commission when the decision to transform it from its current interim status, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the opening session of the Seventh Steering Committee meeting of the Interim Guinea Current Commission in Accra to prepare and set the agenda for the Ministerial meeting scheduled for Friday, July 2, Dr Omane-Boamah said Ghana was willing to host the new Commission. The technical meeting is being attended by 16 Director Generals from the Gulf of Guinea Region, project partners and other stakeholders of GEF-funded Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem Project (GCLME Project). The project aims to assist states, acting collectively, to protect the Guinea Current region's estimated 280 million people from environmental degradation from food insecurity, depletion of fishery stocks and land-based pollution.

It is also to help states to restore their coastal and marine habitats. Dr Omane-Boamah said the Ministerial meeting was crucial to take the necessary steps to transform the Commission after more than 15 years of existence.

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He underscored the importance of the Commission, saying its work would greatly promote the health and sustenance of the millions of people, who depended on the ecosystem from harmful practices that could endanger their lives.

Dr Frank Bartels, UNIDO Representative to Ghana and Togo, said the ecology of the ocean was under increasing strain due to economic pressures that arose from the unbalanced and unsustainable types of exploitation of marine resources, the dynamics of climate change and pollution. While dealing with the constraints of limited natural resources, he said, the marine environment as a public good required international protection and management that would enhance its value.

The technical meeting would consider and deliberate on the administrative and budgetary matters, make recommendations to the Ministerial segment including the Ministerial Declaration of the transition to a full commission and the final proposal of the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan of Global Environment Facility financing.

Source: GNA
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