Accra, July 13, GNA – Dr Yaw Osei-Owusu, the Chairman for Advocacy for Biodiversity Offsetting Group (ABOG), has stated that companies which destroy the country’s biodiversity must be made to account for their impact on it.
He said efforts must be made to ensure that companies and other developers accounted for biodiversity use in the country, since biodiversity was about life, comprising of the forest, the rivers, animals and human beings.
He made this observation at a stakeholders meeting organised by ABOG in collaboration with the John A. Kufuor (JAK) Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to discuss ways of increasing the advocacy for biodiversity offsetting in Ghana.
The meeting, he said was to review the current state of the biodiversity offset guidelines, enhance their knowledge of the Busac grant arrangement and to develop strategies for wider stakeholder session to be held later.
Dr Osei-Owusu said ABOG sought to ensure that they campaigned against the misuse of biological resources, for miners to offset the resources they destroyed, but in the absence that companies were not able to replace what they had destroyed they would be asked to add some additional things to biodiversity.
“We have come up with a campaign and developed a biodiversity offset guidelines which is private sector driven with the EPA on board to help calculate how much of the impact the companies would be responsible for at every point in time, and help in the implementation process.”
Dr Osei-Owusu noted that the campaign was in two phases, adding that the phase one started about a year ago, as the period for campaigning and creating awareness of biodiversity offset and create a group comprising of private companies to push the initiatives, and also to develop the framework.
He said the second phase was going to comprise of a more aggressive campaign to test the strength of the model and if it succeeded to measure the receiver impact of biodiversity.
“We would set up the framework, set up a centre which would manage biodiversity offset and register consultants and groups to see who would be responsible for biodiversity offset in the country and get the framework running”
Professor Baffour Agyemang-Duah, Chief Executive Officer, JAK Foundation said with biodiversity, there must be balance and harmony among all creations, but human beings have tended to destroy the balance that all creation of God were supposed to enjoy.
He said the Foundation in collaboration with ABOG and EPA have been able to secure funds from the BUSAC Fund to help achieve the aim of the project.
He said as a country there was the need for measures to ensure that, anything of nature that was destroyed be replaced or replenished one way or the other.
“That is why, collectively we have come up with guidelines, which would be ready by the end of the year for the EPA to use in ensuring that companies that were destroying our land space to replenish what they destroy, so that in the long run, climate change would not catch up with us and also preserve nature.”
“We want to build the momentum gradually so that hence forth all companies, who want to invest by touching our lands would know that before they invest they would have to preserve nature.”GNA