Last Updated: 2012-09-22
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ACCRA, Sept. 22, (NNN-GNA) - Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed has said that the National Environment and Sanitation policy provides prescription to address solid waste management challenges in the country which include emission of methane from waste dumps.

“The cabinet memorandum on air quality and vehicular emission provides the framework for addressing black carbon emission and air quality challenges”.

Dr Nicholas Kassim Iddi, Technical Director of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST) who read a speech on behalf of Dr Ahmed at the start of a three-day workshop in Accra on climate protection in Africa, said 2.4million premature deaths could be avoided globally each year from reduction of open-air pollution through the implementation of initiatives to address black carbon production.

“There is a need to adopt a coordinated approach and pooling of resources to address the challenges of the Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) which cannot be overemphasized”, he stressed.

The workshop was organized by MEST and the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nigeria, with the co-operation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the Africa Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI).

It was attended by government officials, policymakers, environmental experts, and industrial stakeholders from 15 countries across the African continent.

The three-day event will discuss the critical need for national actions to address the SLCPs and the consequent mitigation of their impact.

Countries participating would seek to address the issue of SLCPs, fostering the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their successors, specifically issues of health, food security, municipal waste management, and access to cleaner energy.

“ The need for collaboration to gain the necessary momentum and scale so as to make the gains visible and felt in the lives of ordinary people and local communities is of paramount importance and hence the call on all countries who are willing to join forces to address SLCPS", Dr Ahmed stated.

He urged the participants to deliver good recommendations for follow-up activities on the African continent and future engagement with the CCAC.

Emmanuel Theodore, a staff of Asimeng TechEnvironmental Applications Centre who gave a presentation on SLCP mitigation in the waste sector, said “each day millions of tons of waste, emitting methane and other pollutants were disposed through the burning and land filling.

“A lot needs to be done to ensure sustainable disposal of waste and usage for other beneficial products including energy, compost, and other useful benefits while securing environmental integrity”, he said.