The Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Joseph Amenowode has directed municipal and district assemblies in the region to subject their medium– term development plans to strategic environmental assessment.
This is to ensure that all environmental concerns are mainstreamed into the nation’s development policies for sustainable development.
“We need to remind ourselves that a healthy and stable environment and rich natural resources base are essential for human welfare, development and security,” he stressed.
The directive was contained in an address read on his behalf at the Regional World Environment Day celebration here to combat drought and desertification in the Adaklu Anyigbe District.
Mr. Amenowode hinted that a Renewable Energy Law would soon be enacted by Parliament to give legal backing to renewable production systems that would be connected to the national grid and the issue of private capital, in the industry.
“It is a stipulation in the Environmental Protection Agency Act, Act 490 that all commercial and industrial development should undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment,” he said.
Mr. Amenowode urged stakeholders focusing on the protection of the environment not to relent in their efforts to slow the momentum of the drastic environmental changes but to keep up the fight against climate change.
Mr. Shine Fiagome, Senior Programme Officer, Environmental Protection Agency, cautioned that the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals would become a mirage if stakeholders in the fight to combat environmental degradation and climate change, since the environment cuts across all disciplines and multi-sectors.
He observed that “there is the need to take another look at some of the taboos and customs that we have and see how we can integrate them into modern society”.
Mr. Titus Amedome, Deputy Executive Director of Action for the Integral Development of Deprived Communities, a non-governmental organisation, pledged to plant a million tree species before the end of the year to promote re-aforestation and protect the environment for future generations.