Develop policies to prevent the exploitation of natural resources – WSO Dir Paolo Bray in government
According to the World Bank’s Country Environmental Analysis (CEA), environmental degradation costs Ghana $ 6.3 billion per year, or nearly 11% of Ghana’s GDP in 2017. Poor land management further leads to land degradation, costing over US $ 500 million per year and leading to deforestation costing Ghana US $ 400 million per year.
“The government should set limits on the exploitation of natural resources while motivating and supporting local and foreign businesses in the transition to 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 has helped transform Ghana: real GDP growth has quadrupled, extreme poverty has halved and, in 2011, Ghana upgraded to lower middle income country status.
However, despite the economic successes recorded, five million hectares of forest were lost between 2001 and 2015. Over the past decade, artisanal gold mining has aggravated degradation; as streams and rivers were dug to find gold.
A world leader in sustainable certification programs, Paolo Bray added that “the efforts of the Government of Ghana to crack down on illegal mining are commendable, and the ban on illegal mining operations has yielded results. However, the government should also proactively promote major conservation initiatives, develop policies to prevent degradation, expand protected areas and integrate them with the needs of communities.
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 primary goal is the conservation of ecosystems, aiming to protect critical habitats and globally threatened species through sustainability certifications – Friend of the sea and Friend of the Earth and related conservation and outreach projects, is headquartered in Italy.