The environment in the news

ROA Media Update 31 May 2006

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ROA Media Update 31 May 2006

UNEP in the news
African environment experts urged to focus NEPAD policies

Brazzaville, Congo (PANA) - Congolese Environment Minister, Henri Djombo has urged experts attending the 11th session of the African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) here to adopt adequate financing mechanisms that will ensure the implementation of initiatives enshrined in NEPAD (the New Partnership for Africa's Development). In an opening speech at the session, Djombo pledged to thoroughly analyse the various files for submission to the ministerial group to enable them derive the best strategies aimed at improving the quality of the African environment. Experts at the meeting were expected to discuss the progress made in order to draw the perspectives aimed at contributing to the preservation of the environment in Africa, while ensuring the welfare of the peoples in Africa suffering from extreme poverty and destitution. "All solutions proposed and decisions taken have not yet materialized to the continent's expectations despite the good intentions shown on financing, respectively in Algiers in 2003 and Dakar in 2005", Djombo lamented. Meanwhile, Africa regional director fore the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Sékou Touré reminded the experts that the preservation of the environment is a challenge Africa must meet in view of its particular situation. "This Brazzaville meeting was to assess the progress of the AMCEN programme and the means for mobilizing resources to finance NEPAD environmental programmes," he pointed out. The presence in Brazzaville of several ministers in charge of the Environment and representatives from international institutions shows the commitment of nations on the continent to cooperating in the Bali Plan on the enhancement of capacities and cooperation for a balanced environmental future, experts agreed.

General Environment News

Ghana: Ghana Likely to Meet Phase out Ozone Depleting Substances

Accra Mail (Accra): The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that Ghana is on the verge of achieving its aim of totally phasing out Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by January 2010, if individuals and companies continue to comply with the demands of the Montreal Protocol. Parties to the Montreal protocol, which include Ghana, have agreed to reduce and then eliminate the use of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) before substitutes and alternative technologies are fully available. According to the EPA, as at January 1, 2005, Ghana had been able to achieve 50 per cent reduction in its usage of CFC, through the vigilance of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) officers at all the entry points, by ensuring that CFC products imported to the country were within the domain of the EPA regulations. "We are aiming at achieving 85 per cent reduction by January 1, 2007 if the kind of cooperation being enjoyed with all the stakeholders continues," Mr. Emmanuel Osae Quansah, a Deputy Director of the EPA said at a stakeholder's seminar in Accra on Legislative Instrument (LI) 1812 of 2005. The Purpose of LI 1812 is to protect the ozone layer from further depletion and also to enable Ghana to meet her national obligations in line with the Montreal Protocol.

Ghana: Polluters Must Pay for Clearing the Mess

Public Agenda (Accra): Every woman and child produces half a kilogram of solid waste everyday, equivalent to one or two tones by an average family in a year. With the current population of 22 million, the quantum of waste generated a day by each household in the country is any one's guess. Out of the volumes of waste produced, less than 50% is being properly managed; what happens to the rest is also any one's guess. The question then is who bears the arduous task of paying for the management of sanitation in the cities. The World Bank, having sunk more than $200 million directly to support waste management in 40 District Assemblies and other agencies in Ghana is now calling for local sourcing of financing. Mr. Charles Boakye, the Senior Municipal Engineer of World Bank Ghana Office made the suggestion at the launching of Advocacy Action for the Integration of the Polluter Pays 'Principle in the Financing of Municipal Waste Management Services in Ghana' held in Accra on Tuesday. He gave an insight into what has accounted for poor sanitation and its poor management in the country and explained that waste management is now being used to measure the success or failure of many governments. In spite of the presence of by-laws, the real challenge is the political will and the administrative support to enforce laws and bye laws on waste management. He called for the institution of a credible strategic planning program before any efficient financing system can be put in place for waste management.
Desertification campaign in eastern Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) – Celebrations of the 13th Environment Week in Rwanda Wednesday will involve activities to fight desertification through the digging up of radical terraces, the elimination of fresh water hyacinth in lakes in the south east of the country, the planting of trees, as well as the marking of anti-erosion pits, the ministry of environment announced here Tuesday. According to Rwandan senior secretary at the Environment ministry, Patricia Hajabakiga, the sites most covered by these activities against drought are in the eastern part of the country, recently hit by a severe drought, which caused water shortage in lakes and rivers in the region. Another part of the country still to be covered by this campaign is the region of Buge, some 40 km east of Kigali. "We are concerned with this disastrous situation because this famine-hit region was in the 70s the country's breadbasket," Hajabakiga explained, and urged the civil society, donors and local authorities to get actively involved for the success of the operation.

ANEJ nudges support for environmental journalism in Africa

Brazzaville, Congo (PANA) – The chairman of the African Environment Journalists Network (ANEJ), Sidi El Moctar Cheiguer, has appealed to African governments to support the NGO's efforts in spreading information on environmental issues across the continent. Speaking on the sidelines of the 11th Council of African Environment Ministers, which began here on Thursday, Cheiguer said such backing was necessary in the face of increasing danger to the world's ecosystem. "Every day, climate changes are repeated before us. Forests are shrinking; deserts are depriving people of cultivable lands and threatening to swallow whole cities. Ice in the North Pole is melting and global warming is increasing," he noted. "Life on earth has never been so seriously at risk," Cheiguer added, pointing out that Africa occupies the "most critical and most perilous" place in this gloomy picture. He said there was an "urgent" need to raise the awareness of decision-makers and civil society on this growing danger facing the continent. Journalists, he said, were custodians of the role of sensitizing, educating and paving the way for a better management of the environment, and if they failed to play that role "tomorrow the court of history will condemn them for not assisting a planet in danger".

Uganda: Environmental Alert Scoops Grand Award

New Vision (Kampala): ENVIRONMENTAL Alert has won an international award for spearheading practices for conservation of soil and water that have improved the welfare of communities. This follows its initiation of integrated soil and nutrient management. Through the farmer field approach, farmers realized soil fertility and crop productivity were declining. According to a statement, the award from Globe International was handed over to Fred Kafeero, the head of Environmental Alert and Joshua Zaake, a mobiliser. The award-giving took place in Canada recently during the bi-annual international conference and trade fair on environment. The award and $10,000 were given to Environmental Alert after winning the earth category of the World Energy Globe Awards. "For Environmental Alert, this award is a big achievement and motivation for the interventions towards improved livelihoods and sustainable management of natural resources," Kafeero said. He said they would work with various partners so as to put the environment to better use. Kafeero appealed to research and development agencies to introduce the practice in areas faced with soil fertility depletion and food insecurity. At a ceremony in Nabukalu village, Kafeero handed over part of the proceeds to two grassroots groups, Alinyikira farmer's development association and Agali awamu so that they could build internal capacity. Environmental Alert is an NGO whose mission is to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable communities in urban and rural areas through sustainable natural resource management.


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