Mohammed Saani Ibrahim
The 7th African Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production [ARSCP-7] has open in Accra on Monday with a call on African Political leaders and Governments to speak with one voice during the upcoming UN-environmental conference in Brazil.
The three day summit has the objectives to take stock of progress made in the implementation of the African 10-YFP on Sustainable Consumption and Production[SCP], share experience in the implementation of SCP and related capacity building activities, as well as discuss the way forward for SCP and the scaling up of SCP promotion in Africa.
Opening the conference, Ghana’s Minister for Environment, Science and Technology, hon. Sherry Hanny Ayittey, called on African Governments to consider adding values to their raw materials in order to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
Africa she pointed out imports $30 billion worth of goods and services annually from Europe and Asia whiles it exports only $3 billion and on this she added ‘’ this is the time for Africa to talk about trade-offs through which the continent will no longer beg for food to feed its people”.
Government is committed to the course of sustainable development consumption and it will fulfill its objective on the programme. We would be waiting on the outcome of this meeting to lead the way of ensuring an enabling environment for the people.
Daniel Amlalo, the Acting Director of the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] the Conference organizers, in his welcome address said increased environmental awareness and expectancy has brought about the development and implementation of various principles, initiatives and schemes.
He mentioned the SCP which has become an effective means of increasing efficiency in doing business while at the same time reducing the impacts on environment and improving its environmental performance and maximization, as one of the initiatives implemented.
He called for the need to integrate the uptake of SCP into the national development agenda of Ghana in order to forestall further degeneration of natural resources and the environment while meeting the triple bottom-line of Simultaneous Economic growth, Social Harmony and Environmental Sustainability.
He therefore proposed for the SCP to aim at changing attitudes by finding a new approach to the economic sectors, industry and the environment relationship and simply rethinking business and industrial process that may produce the required results.
Mr. Amlalo further tasked the SCP to identify options for improved service or product design, improved management and housekeeping, substitution for toxic and dangerous materials as well as internal reuse of waste products on- site.
He described the institutionalization of a Cleaner Project [CP] in Ghana as fulfillment of the country’s unwavering commitments for SCP uptake, implementation and mainstreaming. This he added will help disseminate and replicate successful projects to drive uptake in the sustainable development context.
Mr. Charles Aden-Clarke, the representative of the United Nations Environment Programme[UNEP], the grandson of former Gold Coast Governor, Sir Charles Aden Clarke, commended Africa for the initiative and tenacity to achieving sustainable development.
Osun State [Nigeria] Commissioner on Environment and Sanitation, Prof. [Mrs.] Bukola Oyawoye, on her part said in order to achieve sustainable development, the continent’s leaders must have a change in attitude.
The African Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production [ARSCP] is a Regional-Coordinating Body established in 2004 to facilitate the development of both national and regional capacities for Sustainable Consumption and Production [SCP] in Africa.