The University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) hosted its 3rd Sustainable Development Conference on the theme “Integrations of Responsible Production and Consumption into Development Agenda of Developing Economies: Exploring Policies and Scientific Options.”
The UESD management said the conference is part of the university’s mandate to challenge responsible agencies, encourage private sector participation in environmental issues, and help policymakers formulate and implement practicable policies on environmental issues.
Speaking at the conference, Dr. Richard Osei Bofah, Chief Analyst of Development Policy at the National Development Planning Commission, outlined the challenges affecting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 in Ghana.
“The National Development Planning Commission has since 2015 outlined these key issues: providing raw materials for production, lack of warehouses, food wastage, recycling of products, and enhancing the agricultural value chain in our research. The country must step up with funding to solve these key issues. Despite these challenges, the commission has worked hard since 2018 to help reduce rice and sorghum production by 19.9% and 7% respectively,” Dr. Bofah said.
“One of the prominent challenges undermining SDG 12 implementation is the prevalence of unsustainable mining practices in many regions in Ghana where mining activities often prioritize short-term gains over long-term environmental considerations. This has led to deforestation, ecosystem degradation, soil erosion, and water pollution. These practices are not aligned with the principle of responsible consumption and production, and they contribute to depletion of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and disruption of local communities,” he added.
The Vice Chancellor of UESD, Professor Nyarko Sampson, called on all stakeholders to collaborate and help solve these challenges.
“We at UESD are fully committed to ensuring that these challenges are addressed by first helping change the mindset of our own people to love and respect the environment. That is why we are imbibing in our students good standards and values on the need to conserve the environment because the environment is all that we have if we want to live a healthy lifestyle. In the long run, polluting water bodies, degrading, and causing destruction to the environment will come to hunt us,” Professor Sampson said.
“It is however appreciating that we integrate responsible production and consumption into the development agenda of developing economies, exploring policies and scientific options as our theme states.”
Mr. Prosper Ahmed Amuquanda, a renewable energy analyst, challenged all stakeholders, including the government, to collaborate with the private sector to help address climate and environmental issues.