Ghana is committed to supporting international efforts towards the sound management of chemicals and waste.
It is in this vein that the country continues to play an active role in the implementation of all the chemicals and waste-related multilateral environmental agreements.
The Minister for Environment Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, in a speech read on his behalf, said this at the official launch of the 10-Year Environmental Strategic Plan and Communication Strategy on Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste, and the National Action Plan for the Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana on Tuesday in Accra.
“The Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions as well as the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, are among the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) that Ghana continues to actively participate in,” he noted.
He disclosed that a joint proposal by Ghana and Switzerland, which ensured that the transportation of wastes was made with the consent of the importing state and transit state was adopted at the Basel Convention this year.
“The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (BC COP-15) held from 6th to 17th June 2022, in Geneva, Switzerland, adopted landmark amendments to Annexes II, VIII and IX, proposed by Ghana and Switzerland, which ensure that all transboundary movements of e-wastes, whether hazardous or not, are subject to the prior informed consent of the importing state and any state of transit,” he said.
According to the minister, the decision by the body to implement the proposal supports the environmentally sound management of e-waste with state-of-the-art technology which contributes to a circular economy, adding that “It also protects vulnerable countries against unwelcome imports, according to the minister”.
On the launch of the project reports, Dr Afriyie commended stakeholders for ensuring the implementation of the strategies and action plans to safeguard the populations and the environment from the adverse effects of chemicals and waste.
On his part, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights, Marcos Orellana, commended Ghana for its leadership at the international level in strengthening multilateral agreements in the chemicals and waste cluster.
“Ghana must also be commended for leading the African Group in negotiations toward a legally binding agreement on plastic pollution,” he added.
The project reports that were launched were prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with relevant national stakeholders and Ghana’s developing partners, namely, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Others include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Natural Resource Development Council (an international NGO), with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Richard Aniagyei, ISD