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Ghana: National Economic, Environment and Development Study (NEEDS) for Climate Change Project

Submitted by Caroline Lumosi 12th May 2014 14:54

Rainforest in Ghana Image: The Frog Blog

National Development Plans and Priorities in the context of Climate Change

Two major principles underpin Ghana’s long-term goals with regard to sustainable development: to establish and maintain a robust built and natural environment that sustains productive economic activities and pleasant living conditions for both present and future generations; and to establish an environmentally conscious society that exercises self-discipline at all times with regard to individual and common behaviour towards the environment. Consequently, environmental objectives are embedded in Ghana’s national targets, including:

  • To halve the current levels of chemical and particulate air pollution by 2020;
  • To stop and reverse deforestation and desertification by 2020;
  • To achieve sustainable exploitation and protection of forest resources;
  • To substantially increase the use of renewable energy sources;
  • To substantially decrease the use of chemical fertilizers;
  • To improve water and air quality

Lessons Learned

Ghana’s main challenges in implementing its proposed national communication strategies and achieving its national targets include:

  • To integrate environmental considerations into decision-making on development, at the national and subnational levels;
  • To increase access to information on, and improve understanding of, environmental issues;
  • To establish an appropriate institutional framework and mechanisms to facilitate integration of environmental considerations into development plans;
  • To encourage the adoption of more effective management practices and technology; 
  • To ensure compliance with environmental standards and regulations;
  • To apply the ‘polluter pays’ principle in order to prevent reckless environmental destruction.