Stakeholders validate “Connect project” to conserve Biodiversity`

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protect biodiversity
protect biodiversity

To contribute to biodiversity conservation and management in the country, stakeholders have met to validate the “Ghana Connect” project that is expected to sustain efforts at safeguarding biodiversity.

The Ghana connect project involved the gathering and repackaging of existing biodiversity data and information from a range of sources at both national and international levels in order to catapult them into the heart of government decision making processes.

The aim of the workshop was therefore, to introduce stakeholders of biodiversity enterprise to Biodiversity Information Products (BIPs) that emerged from the Connect project.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) in partnership with other stakeholder institutions rolled out the Ghana Connect project some two and a half years ago, with the goal of connecting decision-makers with biodiversity information to ensure more effective decision-making for biodiversity conservation.

“We need these connections strengthened to sustain our contributions to biodiversity conservation and management,” Dr. George Owusu Essegbey, Co-project Coordinator, said at the workshop held on Wednesday in Accra.

He said that the challenge facing the earth was huge, in that “at natural rate, we expect to lose eight biodiversity species every 100 years. But the National Autonomous University of Mexico conducted a study that revealed that in the past century, we’ve lost 500 species.

“And this is mostly due to human activity — our agricultural practices, urbanization and expansion of human settlements, industrialization and deforestation, among others”.

He said the only way to counter the risk was to guide decision-making in national affairs to protect the biological resources and revitalize them.
Professor Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Chairman, Ghana National Biodiversity Steering Committee, said what were gathered under the Ghana Connect project were basically data on all or some aspects of the variability of living organisms (biodiversity), which were essential to inform proper decision making and further development of policies.

“Decision-making is an all-encompassing activity, which must take into consideration every form of knowledge about national development, which must in all situations reflect a balance on the socioeconomic and environmental underpinnings for sustainable development.

“This embraces the concept of mainstreaming to link all the various sectors of the country’s development agenda.”

He said there was the need to accumulate more data sets by encouraging institutions and individuals who have the capacity to collect, analyze, synthesize, transform and share the data, so that the information could be assembled to contribute to development actions that would embody all the tenets of sustainable development goals, in particular goals 12, 13, 14 and 15.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, commended the efforts at validating data developed purposely for decision makers.

He said such products were very important and would surely be of great benefit to not only decision makers but “all of us whose actions and in actions in one way or the other affects our environment broadly.”

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