Ghana
Information
  • Date submitted: 28 Oct 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Member State
  • Name: Ghana
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Emerging challenges (19 hits), emerging issues (0 hits),

Full Submission

REPUBLIC OF GHANA

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, GHANA

RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA SUBMITTEB BY THE GOVERNMENT OF GHANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS COMMISION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPEMNT (UNCSD)

Introduction

In 1992, the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian city. The outcome of this all important conference was AGENDA 21 which was a major declaration on Environment and Development. Thereafter, there has been other summits which resulted in the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 in 1997, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit On Sustainable Development, among others. There has been regular review of the programme every now and then with various themes emerging. Next year, 2012, will be exactly twenty years since the first summit was held. Consequently, the next major summit has been scheduled for Rio de Janeiro again. Dubbed the UN CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, this conference will have as its themes, The Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication and The Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development.

As part of preparatory work to ensure that goals of the summit are achieved, the UNCSD has circulated questionnaire in five key areas to member countries. The questionnaire aims at assessing the implementation of the sustainable development agenda in member countries as well as the challenges of implementation.

Questionnaire A: Renewing Political Commitment for Sustainable Development.

The objective of the UNCSD on this questionnaire is to renew political support for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development.

Questionnaire B: Assessing progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development.

The objective of the UNCSD on this questionnaire is to invite member states to provide contributions on experiences, success factors, challenges and risks pertaining to General Assembly resolution?s call for assessing the progress to date and remaining gaps in implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development. Questionnaire C: Addressing New and Emerging challenges

The objective of the UNCSD is to invite member states to provide contributions and inputs on experiences, success factors, challenges and risks pertaining to General Assembly resolution which calls for addressing new and Emerging challenges in the sustainable development agenda.

Questionnaire D: Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable development and Poverty Eradication

The objective of the UNCSD here is to invite member states to provide contributions on experiences, success factors, challenges and risks pertaining to the themes of the conference.

Questionnaire E: Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development

The objective of the UNCSD here is to invite member states to provide contributions and inputs on experiences, success factors, challenges and risks pertaining to the themes of the conference.

To respond to the five questionnaire listed above, the National Sustainable Development Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology organized a workshop for Members at Koforidua in the Eastern Region. The objective of the workshop was to provide Ghana?s response to the issues raised and also as contribution to the global report to be submitted to the UN Secretary General as part of his report to the General Assembly. What follows is a report from that workshop, focusing only on responses to the five questionnaire.

Questionnaire A: Renewing Political Commitment for sustainable development

Question 1

Are there objective ways of measuring political commitment? What are the relevant indicators? Which indicators are most useful from your perspective? {e.g., New legislations enacted, Policy announcements, Budgetary allocation and support, Prominence of relevant institutions, level of media interest, etc.}

Answer

Accurately measuring political commitments is a very difficult issue. However there exist some indicators that can be used as proxies for measuring political commitments. The most useful from our perspective are: Policy announcements,

New legislations enacted

Budgetary allocation and support,

Prominence of relevant institutions,

Level of media interest,

Policies that have been enacted and implemented by government Conventions, protocols, etc, signed and being implemented Integration of tools into project cycles

Inclusion of sustainable development visions in the manifestos of political parties

Question 2

Based if possible on these indicators, how would you evaluate the national government?s political commitment today to sustainable development compared to1992? How would you evaluate the political commitment since 1992?

Answer

Since 1992 there has been tremendous effort toward realizing the goals of sustainable development in Ghana. At the international level, Ghana has ratified a number of international conventions and protocols including the UNFCCC in 1995 and also signed the Kyoto protocol in 2003, Basel Convention and Cartagena protocol on Bio-Safety, UN Convention on Desertification, Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and actively participated in several discussions on international environmental governance. Among measures put in place to implement the sustainable development include the transformation of Environmental Protection Council (EPC), an advisory body to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - an implementing agency with powers to prosecute; creation of a sector Ministry, Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology to develop policies on sustainable development as well as the numerous programmes and projects that have been implemented with bearing on sustainable development since 1992. With the establishment of EPA, undertaking Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to ensure that environmental issues are taken into consideration in the development process has been made mandatory. These mark the beginning of Ghana?s effort at embracing the concept of sustainable production and consumption.

The establishment of democratic governance through successful Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 also provided a sound political environment which is very important for sustainable development.

To indicate a strong commitment to environmental issues, the Government of Ghana subjected the past three medium term development framework - Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (2003-2006), Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (2006-2009) and the Ghana Shared Growth Development and Agenda (GSGDA) (2010-2013) to Strategic Environmental Analysis (SEA) through the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC). In all these frameworks priority was given to water and sanitation, health, housing, education, reducing disparity in the distribution of national resources, ensuring sustainability in the use of natural resources through application of Science and Technology and Innovation, among others. Ghana also subjected itself to a peer review through the African Peers? Review mechanism (APRM) under the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD). Weaknesses in implementation and enforcement of policies have however constrained efforts in the achievement of stated objectives.

Various structures have also been established to ensure the implementation of sustainable development programmes. These include the formation of the National Climate Change Committee; formation of the Environmental and Natural Resources Advisory Council (ENRAC) chaired by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana; Preparation of the National Climate Change Policy Framework (NCCPF) and the Development of the National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) All these indicate that there has been some political commitment to the implementation of sustainable development policies compared to 1992. Thus, one can rate political commitment to sustainable development as satisfactory. The only problem is that low incomes and the diverse developmental challenges make it difficult for government to do more.

Question 3

What actions have been introduced in your country to strengthen political support for sustainable development?

Answer

Several policies have been introduced that directly or indirectly have bearings on strengthening political support for sustainable development. There has been improvement in both the print and electronic media in using both local and official languages to disseminate information on sustainable development by the state and private media. Ghana is in the process of passing the Right to Information Bill and the Whistle Blower?s Bill which will ensure transparency and accountability in governance and consequently reduce corruption. This will ensure efficient use of resources and make available more resources for sustainable development. There is freedom of expression in Ghana as enshrined in the constitution and people now have the right within the mandate of the law to voice out their feelings without fear of arrest. This makes it easy for citizens to critically assess government on the implementation of sustainable development agenda. Ghana has also made institutional strengthening one of the main pillars of sustainable development in addition to the social, economic and environmental pillars. The addition of the institutional pillar is a major political commitment by the government of Ghana to tackling sustainable development issues. In line with strengthening the institutional pillar, various institutions have been created. These include the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Economic and Organized Crime Office, Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, NDPC, Commission of Human Rights and Administration Justice (CHRAJ), etc. Many policies have also been formulated to ensure the implementation of sustainable development. These include the National Environment Action Plan, National Gender and Children?s Policy, Science Innovation Policy, Gender budgeting, which deals with providing a way of assessing the impact of government revenue and expenditure on women and men, boys and girls.

Sustainable development principles were also mainstreamed in the development and implementation of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda. Also, the use of Strategic Development Assessment Tool (SDAT) has been extended to sectors and Districts. The country is also using Functional Organization Assessment Tool (FOAT) to provide assistance to District Assemblies though Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) is yet to be incorporated into FOAT processes. This tool is meant to enable the District Assemblies pull their support together to aid development. Government has also encouraged Development Partners to support Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and the private sector to develop their capacities to partner government in the implementation of the sustainable development agenda.

Question 4

Are there specific sectors or areas {Water, energy, biodiversity, other} where national political commitment to achieve sustainable development goals has been specially strong? If so, what factors explain that commitment? At the institutional level government has developed a lot of institutions, instruments, policies and frameworks to ensure that national political commitment to achieve sustainable development goals is effective. These among others, include:

Establishment of the Ministry of Environment Science Technology (MEST); Transformation of EPC, hitherto an advisory body to EPA, an implementing agency with powers to prosecute. Setting up of ENRAC with the vice president of the republic as its Chairman. Mainstreaming Gender into1 budget preparation and allocation Institutionalization of public disclosure policies, e.g., Akoben and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) to play the role of ?measuring rod? to measure environmental practices in the extractive and productive sectors. The use of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as a tool to ensure sustainable development;

Preparation of the National Climate Change Policy Framework;

Development of National Biodiversity Framework;

Development of Science, Technology and Innovative programmes and projects

Setting up of the National Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) for Climate Change

Setting -up of the National Committee for Sustainable Development (NCSD)

Development and implementation of the GPRS 1 and GPRS II and the GSGDA

There are also specific sectors where national political commitment to achieving sustainable development goals has been strong. These include water, energy, transport, E-waste among others.

In the area of Water and Sanitation, there have been some political commitments in sustainable development. Government has establishment the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing; Community Water and Sanitation (CWSA), Water Resources Commission to provide governance in water management. Also, government has established Water and Sanitation Committees at the Districts to ensure that quality water is constantly provided at the District level. Water Resource Management (WARM) studies have also been undertaken to guide policy formulation. Restructuring of utility provision led to the establishment of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) which regulates utility provision in urban areas including water.

In the area of energy, national political commitment to achieve sustainable development goals has also been strong though more could be done. Developments in this area include:

Creation of Renewable Energy Division and Directorate in the Ministry of Energy

Formulation of Renewable Energy Policy

Subjecting the Energy Policy to SEA

Setting Renewable energy target of 10% in 2015

Reducing biomas share in total energy consumption to about 66%

Encouraging the use of LPG

Introduction of energy efficient charcoal production and utilization technologies e.g. ?Kasaman Kiln?

Encourage tree planting at the local level (Community, Schools, Individuals, Organisations)

Promulgation of the Renewable Energy Law

Promotion of energy efficiency (E.g. CFL bulbs, fridges, air conditions and capacitor banks for industry) and awareness

creation on energy saving tips

Establishment of the Green Energy Fund; whereby those who generate green energy from their homes are supported. Currently, importation of solar energy panels is tax free. However, those in the rural areas do not have the capacity to bring these solar panels and are seriously exploited by businesses in this area.

In the area of environment, the government of Ghana and it Development Partners have initiated the Natural Resources and Environmental Governance (NREG) programme with prioritised activities and time-bound targets in other to reverse the persistent trend of high environmental degradation in a coordinated and sustainable manner. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement has been initiated between the government of Ghana and the European Union aimed at ensuring that timber products are obtained from certified sources. To increase the nations forest cover, the Forestry Services Division (FSD) have demarcated 1,440 hectares under the Community Forest Management Project (CFMP) and 178 hectares under FSD model plantation programmes.

To reduce emissions of carbon and nitrogen gases from inefficient combustion of old vehicles, the government has introduced high taxes on importation of old vehicles/engines. This has led to a reduction in the importation of second hand vehicles and consequently emissions. The Ministry of Transport also took its transport policy through a Strategic Environmental Assessment and climate change mainstreaming.

To avoid Ghana being used as a dumping ground for e-waste, there is a draft legislation that bans the importation of E-waste into the country. Targets have also been set to phase out particular electrical goods. For example by 2012 there will be a ban on the importation of used fridges and air conditioners. Furthermore, Government is promoting alternative source of energy use such as solar, wind, mini hydro, biomass, gas and waste to energy, which are environmentally friendly and has the capacity to mitigate climate change.

Question 5

What examples or experience from other areas demonstrate how political support for critical issues was enhanced. (eg. MDGs, climate change)? How could they be applied to sustainable development?

Answer

There are examples or experience from other areas that demonstrate how political support for critical issues was enhanced. One example is the development and implementation of the GPRS 1. At the international level mention could be made of the implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer and its Amendments. Specifically, the GPRS I was formulated and implemented by the Government of Ghana from 2003-2006. Though there were direct and indirect donor influences, there exist several evidences both at the micro and at the macro levels that suggest that the formulation and implementation of the framework was very successful. It has been argued that the success can be attributed to international support and good will, good leadership and commitment and the goodwill and support of the people of Ghana

Reasons attributed to the success of the implementation of the Montreal Protocol is the availability of cheap alternative to the use of CFCs and the strong leadership role played by the leading producers of CFC - USA, Russia and Japan, especially USA in the implementation of the Convention. Lessons that could be learnt for these programs are: Strong leadership role and commitment by leading polluters especially the USA at least on ethical grounds is imperative Strong international support and goodwill is key

Good local leadership role and commitment to sustainable development Goodwill and support by the people of Ghana is key to the successful implementation of the sustainable development agenda

Question 6

Looking forward to the next ten years, what are your government?s highest priorities for accelerating progress towards sustainable development?

Answer

Over the next ten years, the government?s highest priorities for accelerating progress towards sustainable development would be the reduction of poverty through pro-poor growth strategies. Key areas that will be tackled to address poverty will include water, energy, waste management and sanitation, aforestation, urban development, health, education, among others. All these will be geared towards the current high unemployment that threatens to put pressure on resource use.

Question 7

How can international cooperation strengthen support for sustainable development? What are your expectations for UNCSD in this regard?

Answer

International cooperation has a significant role to play in the area of strengthening support for sustainable development. Many African governments understand the need to develop sustainably and would have loved to make total political commitment to the idea. However the short term political cost of implementing sustainable development policies is quite enormous. We expect a more vigorous role emerging from UNCSD where politicians will be supported to consider issues of sustainable development as important as other areas of the national development. Specifically, Ghana expects the following support from the UNCSD:

Capacity development

Technical Assistance

Technology transfer

Financial Instruments (ODA; Overseas Donor Support, FDI)

Promotion of networking

South - South cooperation

North ? South Cooperation

Question 8

Among your country?s senior policy makers, would you say the predominant view of the three pillars of sustainable development is that:

there are difficult trade ?offs among them?

they are strongly complementary?

(Please briefly elaborate on your answer)

Answer

Among Senior Policy makers there seem to be a mixed view on this issue. Many senior policy makers acknowledges that there are difficult trade-offs and sometimes serious sacrifices to be made. The tradeoffs more exist between the economic pillar and the other two pillars. Specifically, more attention is focused on GDP growth at the expense of the other two pillars. According to the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda, 2010, Ghana?s current pattern of development puts a lot of stress on the environment with the total economic cost of poor environmental management and sanitation amounting to about 10% of Ghana?s GDP. This can be seen more in areas like mining, especially in forest reserves where the economic pillar has the upper hand over the social and environmental pillars. Others, also believe that these is a complementarities among the three pillars of sustainable development. In a gist, looking at policy formulation one can conclude that many Senior Policy makers are more tilted toward the view that these is a strong complementary of the three pillars of sustainable development than the existence of difficult trade ?offs among them. But in policy implementation the reverse could be that case. This to some extent could be attributed to the financial constraints.

Questionnaire B: Assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development

Question 1

What indicators or information on sustainable development have proven to be most useful for assessing gaps and progress towards sustainable development?

Answer

There are many indicators or information on sustainable development that are very useful in assessing gaps and progress towards sustainable development. These among others include:

Monitoring and evaluation indicators being more quantitative than qualitative

Number of Capacity Development programs for policy makers

Capacity development programmes for of Civil Society organizations (CSO)

Number of green taxes introduced

Amount realized in green taxes

Cases resolve by the Judiciary and other enforcement agencies on environmental issues

Structures established at the regional and district levels to address sustainable development issues

Number of education and awareness programmes

Budgetary allocation to sustainable development programmes

In general the proper collection of information of sustainable development indicators chosen by Ghana will greatly help to assessing gaps and progress towards sustainable development

Question 2

Please rank in order of importance 1= most important. Please also attach or provide a link to relevant statistical databases.

I. Comprehensive Indicators (e.g., HDI, MDGs)

II. Economic Indicators (e.g., GDP growth, trade performance)

III. Poverty Indicators (e.g. Headcount or other measure, please specify)

IV. Social Indicators (e.g., Unemployment, life expectancy)

V. Environmental indicators (e.g., ESI, Footprint, other, please specify)

VI. Results of Public Opinion Surveys

VII. Other (please specify)

Answer

In order of decreasing importance effective indicators for monitoring progress can be ranked as follows:

1. Economic Indicators (e.g., GDP growth, trade performance)

2. Comprehensive Indicators (e.g. HDI, MDGs)

3. Social Indicators (e.g., Unemployment, Life Expectancy, Gross Enrolment Ratios, Infant and Maternal Mortality)

4. Environmental Indicators (e.g. ESI, Footprint, other, please specify)

5. Poverty Indicators (e.g. Headcount or other measure, please specify)

6. Results of Public Opinion Surveys

7. Country Assessment

Question 3

What indicators of integrated goals and strategies have been most useful? Please rank in order of importance.

I. Institutional indicators (e.g., use of integrated strategies, establishment of coordination mechanisms)

II. Commitment indicators (e.g., fiscal or other support for integrated sustainable development programmes)

III. Outcome indicators (e.g., correlation between indicators of economic, social, and environmental change)

IV. Information-related indicators (e.g. development of analytical and assessment tools collection of data, investment in research)

V. Other (please specify)

Answer

In order of decreasing importance, indicators of integrated goals and strategies than can be most useful can be ranked as follows:

1. Commitment indicators (e.g., fiscal or other support for integrated sustainable development programmes)

2. Institutional indicators (e.g., use of integrated strategies, establishment of coordination mechanisms)

3. Information-related indicators (e.g. development of analytical and assessment tools collection of data, investment in research)

4. Outcome indicators (e.g., correlation between indicators of economic, social, and environmental change)

Question 4

Based as far as possible on these indicators, please provide an assessment of the progress made towards sustainable development over the past 18 years (1992-2010), (a) at the level of your country (where applicable) and (b) globally. Please attach any relevant technical studies or policy analysis. For each, kindly provide the original article or url, and enter a short abstract.

Answer

In general Ghana has made some substantial efforts in achieving sustainable development looking at the resource constraints and other major development challenges that confronts the country. These can be seen from all the policies, programmes, plans and projects that has early been discussed. According to the World Bank ?Despite challenges, Ghana is one of four countries in sub-Saharan Africa on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal for safe drinking water by 2015?. It is evident that more can be done if efforts are made at improving efficiency in expenditure so that more resources will be available for the implementation of the sustainable development agenda. Detail assessment of progress made towards sustainable development over the past 18 years is quite difficult to come by. However, works in the following sites points to the marginal success that Ghana is making:

http://www.ndpc.gov.gh/GPRS/Simplified%202009%20APR%20-Final.pdf;

http://www.ndpc.gov.gh/

http://www.afdb.org/en/documents/#c

http://go.worldbank.org/N7TQDIGV60

Question 5

What factors explain progress in implementation? Please rank in order of importance.

(Each of these has been important. Many are also complementary and thus difficult to rank in order.)

1. Generalized economic growth and prosperity

2. Investment in technical and institutional capacity

3. Financial support from international sources

4. Use of integrated strategies

5. Other; please specify.

Answer

As indicated there exist many factors that explain progress in implementation. In order of decreasing importance the factors that explain progress in implementation can be ranked as follows:

1. Generalised economic growth and prosperity

2. Financial support from international sources

3. Investment in technical and institutional capacity

4. Use of integrated strategies

5. Political support

Question 6

Has your government introduced integrated planning and decision making for sustainable development? If so, under what title (NSDS, PRSP, Five year plan, NCs or NEAP, other)? What are the lessons from this experience?

Answer

The government of Ghana has introduced integrated planning and decision making for sustainable development. Even though there was a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP), integrated planning could more be seen in the formulation and implementation of the Ghana Vision 2020 which was a long term plan and its medium term frameworks, Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (2003- 2006), Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (2006-2009) and the current Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (2010-2013). The last three documents have increasingly been subjected SEA There exist several lessons that could be drawn from the formulation and implementation of the GPRS 1, GPRS 2 and the GSGDA. These among others include:

Public participation brings about commitment to implementation of programmes and projects and proper utilisation of project facilities.

Cross Sectoral Planning Groups bring about transparency, accountability and ownership.

Effective stakeholder involvement enhances support for implementation

Public-private participation is quite key in formulation and implementation since the private sector play a key role in development

Inclusion of females through the Gender Equality Sector Team (GEST) and affirmative action promotes females participation in governance

Effective monitoring using tools like Carbon foot prints enhances monitoring

Setting clear and quantitative targets enhances monitoring

Question 7

Are there examples of strong public-private partnership for sustainable development in your country? How have these been promoted?

Answer

There have been some strong public-partner partnerships for sustainable development. For example governments have sourced funding for the private sector to undertake waste management activities. Also, government has sources funding for the private financial sector for on-lending in aforestation projects on concessionary terms. There has also been tree planting programme where the planter owns the tree with government providing free seedlings for communities and at subsidized prices to organizations as well as technical advice and other inputs such as cutlass, hoes, boots, etc. Government has also privatised the management of some environmental resources such as parks, beaches etc. These have been promoted through fora and discussions with the private sector though not as required.

Question 8

Is the technical assistance from UN system entities a key factor in explaining progress with sustainable development? If so, in what areas or sectors (e.g., MDGs, water, energy, health, agricultural, biodiversity, forests, climate change, jobs, other)?

Answer

It is evident that assistance from UN system entities is a key factor in explaining progress with regards to sustainable development, though more can be done if there is better coordination. The UN system has supported Ghana government in many areas including water, energy, health, agricultural, biodiversity, forestry, climate change, among others. All these will make it possible for Ghana to achieve some of the MDG targets.

Question 9

What are the major barriers to implementation? Please rank in order of importance 1 = most important.

1. Human and institutional capacity for on-the-ground implementation and monitoring

2. Inadequate public awareness or engagement

3. Problems created by slow growth

4. Inadequate coordination between ministries

5. Lack of data (accessibility)

6. Low political priority for integrated decision making

7. Inadequate or unpredictable international support

8. Other; please specify

Answer

In order of decreasing importance the major barriers to implementation can be ranked as follows:

1. Inadequate financial recourses

2. Human and Institutional capacity for on-the-ground implementation and monitoring

3. Inadequate public awareness or engagement

4. Inadequate coordination between ministries

5. Lack of data (accessibility)

6. Low political priority for integrated decision making

7. Inadequate or unpredictable international support

8. Problems created by slow growth

Question 10

What steps need to be taken to address these barriers in an effort to bridge the implementation gaps?

Answer

There are several steps that need to be taken to address these barriers in an effort to bridge these specific implementation gaps. Table 1 summarizes the various steps.

Table 1:Ssteps needed to address specific implementation gaps.

-Inadquate financial resources - Improve efficiency of expenditure and reduce corruption in order to make more resources available for sustainable development

-Encourage the use of technology since its increases efficiency

- International community to honor pledges made
- Human and Institutional capacity for on-the-ground implementation and monitoring - Develop more capacities and re-orient tertiary education to the needs of the labour market

- Improve conditions of service to maintain qualified staff

- Develop institutional mechanisms to ensure compliance and enforcement of regulations
- Inadequate public awareness or engagement - Put in more mechanisms to incease education and public awareness programes
- Lack of data (accessibility) - Resource Statistical Division in Ministires, Departments and agencies and Metropolitan Municipal and Distract Assesmblies to compile data
- Low political priority for integrated decision making - Turn many components of policies into laws to make it mandatory for government and to reduce the powers of politicans

- Incease advocacy on sustainable development issues
- Inadequate or unpredictable international support - Effective monitoring should be put in place by the international commmunity to ensure that pledges are honored
- Problems created by slow growth - Shift from the current situtation of being a primary resource producer to a producer of manufacturing prodcuts. This is the sure way of increasing value addition, employment and enhancing growth
- Inadequate coordination between ministries - Make coordination mandatory in all programmes and projects

Question 11

What are the main difficulties experienced in promoting integrated planning and decision-making?

Answer

The main difficulties experienced in promoting integrated planning and decision-making include:

The time consuming nature of integrated planning

Resource constraints

High cost involved in integrated planning

Unavailability and inadequacy of data for planning

Inadequate capacity for planning

Poor commitment on the part of stake holders to fulfill obligations

Question 12

What further actions could be taken to promote effective voluntary actions and partnerships?

Answer

The following actions could be taken to promote effective voluntary actions and partnerships:

Build the capacity of the private sector especially CSOs to enable them engage with the public sector

Build networks that can support sustainable development

Increase sensitization and awareness on sustainable development creation

Promote volunteerism in communities

Provide incentive to the private sector to venture into sustainable development projects Question 13

What are the risks to sustain progress towards convergence among the 3 pillars of sustainable development?

Answer

The risks to sustain progress towards convergence among the 3 pillars of sustainable development include:

The difficult Trade-offs and sacrifices that is to be made may go against the environment

Political will to re-enforce environmental pillar in the midst of diverse economic and social challenges

Commitment by the public and private sectors to sustainable development in the midst of diverse social and economic challenge

Growing problems in the developed world may reduce commitment to sustainable development

Questionnaire C: Addressing new and Emerging challenges

Question 1

What five new Emerging challenges are likely to affect both significantly your countrys prospects for sustainable development in the coming decade? Please rand in order of importance.

Answer

Five new Emerging challenges that are likely to affect Ghanas prospects for sustainable development in the coming decade in order of decreasing importance are Climate Change ,Energy Crisis, Increasing environmental degradation (land, water and air), Reduction in availability of Overseas Development Assistance (ODAs) due to recent economic meltdown and Increasing urban inequality and vulnerability

Question 2

What mechanisms have been put in place to address these challenges: At local level? At the national level?

Answer

Ghana has realized the impact of these new Emerging challenges and has put in place several mechanisms both at the local and national level to address these challenges. Table 2 summarizes the mechanisms put in place both at the local and national level to address these challenges

Table 2: Mechanism put in place by Ghana to address Emerging challenges

Emerging challenge National Level Local Level
Climate Change Establishment at Cabinet level , The Environment and Natural Resource Advisory Council chaired by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana

A National Climate Change committee has been put in place charged with developing policies and programmes to address all issues of climate change ,both negative and positive

Draft national climate change policy framework has been designed

Climate Change has been mainstreamed into the GSGDA

National Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies have been developed

Specific programmes are being implemented at all levels e.g. African Adaptation Programme, REDD+, FIP, FPP, NAMAs and Low Carbon Growth programmes
NGOs are engaging with local people and creating awareness

GSGDA is been mainstreamed into District development plans

Specific projects to address climate change are being implemented at all levels e.g. African Adaptation Programme, REDD, FIP, FPP
Energy Crisis Energy Commission has developed a policy on alternative energy use sources

A ban has been put on use of incandescent bulbs

Labeling of energy efficient air-conditioners and refrigerators to differentiate which are environmentally friendly or not

Introduction of metro-mass transport system as a measure to reduce vehicular traffic and curb carbon emissions

Introduction of use of capacitors by large consumers of electricity e.g. manufacturing industries
Encouraging use of improved charcoal production and utilization

Reduction in usage and dependence on wood-fuelthrough promotion of use of alternative fuels e.g. LPG
Increased environmental degradation Policies, legislations and programmes have been put in place (Water Act, Forest and Wildlife policy, Mining Act, Timber Resource Management Act, Use of SEAs as a requirement in public policy processes)

Environmental management has been mainstreamed at all levels

FASDEP II -Agriculture sustainable land management strategy and Action Plan has been developed

Ghana Investment Framework for Sustainable Land Management has been enacted

Environmental Sanitation Policy and Strategy has been enacted

EPA air quality guidelines has been developed, EPA has developed Akoben, a ?measuring rod? for environmental practices in the productive and extractive sectors
EIA has been designed as a pre requisite for the establishment of all projects

EPA has established environmental management committees in MMDAs

Ghana Sustainable Land and Water Management project has been developed District Assemblies and NGOs have been involved actively in addressing environmental degradation in the country

Environmental bye-laws have been enacted for all MMDAs

District Assemblies have departments for environmental sanitation officers

Mass media has been involved in awareness creation programmes eg, the Africa Farm Radio Network

Extension officers are mainstreaming sanitation awareness at all levels especially at the local and district levels
Reduction in availability of Overseas Development Assistance due to recent economic meltdown Fast start finance under CC regime e.g. multilateral, bilateral and private sector funds

National AID policy to wean Ghana off donor dependency has been developed

Policy to increase generation of internal revenue has been developed

Oil revenue management Bill is receiving attention in Parliament
District Assemblies are encouraged widen revenue base

AMA has increased property rate

District Assemblies are encouraged to improve on the collection of property tax
Increasing urban vulnerability Tax incentives to promote rural-based industries have been introduced

Promotion of relative equality of rural urban development e.g. rural

electrification project, removal of schools under trees

SADA has been introduced to bridge the developmental gap between the three northern regions and the south

Life-line tariffs for low electricity consumers has been introduced

Draft urban policy has been developed
NGOs building capacity at local level to reduce rural -urban migration

Promotion of local entrepreneurship by local authorities in collaboration with rural banks with the aim of setting up rural and cottage based industries

Question 3 In which of these areas has support from the international community been forthcoming? In what areas is new or enhanced international support needed?

Answer

Support to address these new challenges from the international community has been forthcoming but woefully inadequate to even partially address these issues. Table 3 summarizes areas where support from the international community has been forthcoming and areas where enhanced support is required.

Table 2: Areas where support from International community has been forthcoming and areas where enhanced support is required

Emerging Issues Areas where support from International community has been forthcoming Areas where enhanced International support is required
Climate Change Funds available for mitigation and adaptation More funds needed for adaptation measures
Energy Crisis Funds available More funds needed to reduce system losses from 25% to 18%

Investment in generation, distribution and transmission of energy is needed
Environmental degradation Funds Available for projects Sustainable funds needed for longgestation- period projects
Reduction in availability of Overseas Development Assistance due to recent economic meltdown Inadequate funding Conditionality attached to the sourcing of funds must be realistic and locally-driven
Increased urban inequality vulnerability Available funds to relocate squatters at Sodom and Gomorrah ,two slum communities in Accra

Millennium city development project
More funds needed to improve infrastructure in urban slums

Need to enhance business opportunities in rural areas ?led by government

Question 4

What new and Emerging challenges should be acted upon at UNCSD?

Answer

The importance of the Emerging challenges in terms of their impact on overall sustainable development suggest that it will benefit Ghana greatly if all the five Emerging challenges identified are addressed by UNCSD.

Question 5

What factors explain the successful ability to address new and Emerging challenges?

A multiplicity of factors interplay to explain Ghanas successful ability to address these new and Emerging challenges. Table 4 provide a matrix of the factors that interplay to explain Ghanas successful ability to address the five Emerging challenges identified. In a gist, all the factors enumerated in the column of the table are very important if Ghana is to successfully address the emerging new challenges.

Table 4: Matrix of factors that explains Ghana's success in addressing Emerging challenges

No. Climate Change Energy Crisis Increasing Environmental Degradation ODA Increasing Urban Vulnerability
1. Adequate financial resources X X X X
2. Strong government leadership X X X X
3. Availability of data and technical capacity X X X X
4. Dedicated government programmes X X X X
5. Regional cooperation X X X X
6. Investment in essential infrastructure X X X X
7. Spped and adequacy of international support X X X X
8. Effective communication systems X X X X
9. Literacy and awareness among population X X X X
10. South-South cooperation X X X X
11. Leadership by international organizations X X X X

Question 6 What steps are being taken or are under consideration in your country to enhance these success factors?

Answer

The government of Ghana has taken major steps to enhance factors that explain its successful ability to address these new and Emerging challenges. These among others include:

Pursuing a number of policy and regulatory reforms, though implementation and enforcement remains a challenge.

Deepening democratic governance.

Enhancing bilateral and multilateral relationships especially on south-south cooperation at the international front. Examples are benefits from Cooperation with China and participation in all activities of regional groupings such as ECOWAS, NEPAD and AU.

Question 7

How can the link between Science, Education and Policy be strengthened to address the new and Emerging challenges especially those identified above?

Answer

The government of Ghana believes that strengthening the link between Science, Education and Policy is very important if the new and Emerging challenges especially those identified above are to be addressed. Strengthening this link should involve:

Establishing a strong collaboration between academia, policy makers and institutions to harmonise programmes

Providing funds for policy based research, especially those that border on development Facilitating that researchers make their findings more user-friendly through the development of policy briefs.

Making conscious efforts to disseminate findings in simple language to the beneficiaries

Re-structuring the academic system to groom students and to prepare them to take up positions in industry as well developing courses that meets the labour market. Even though there has been expansion of technical education (middle level manpower), it has not adequately addressed the human resource gap at the District level. This is basically due to the unfavorable working conditions (salaries, accommodation etc.) at the District level which results in low turnover.

Question 8

How can international support be harnessed effectively to address these challenges?

Answer

A major challenge facing the country is how to harness international support effectively to address these challenges. Many efforts have been made in the past to harness international support effectively for development. However the results are not as expected. Where results are achieved, conditionalities make it extremely difficult to realize the full benefits of the support. To effectively address this issue and consequently harness international support we recommend the following:

Sector-wide approach towards funding (SWAP) where funds go directly to the sector with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning only acting as a facilitator

It is incumbent on Ghana to identify possible sources of funding

Ghana should build the capacity of experts to develop proposals to meet criteria set-up for assessing funds

Question 9

Do the new and Emerging challenges pose fundamental risks to the prospects of economic growth and development of your country?

Answer

It is very evident that these new and Emerging challenges pose fundamental risks to the prospects of economic growth and development in Ghana. Research indicates that the cost of environmental degradation is about 6% of GDP. This is practically evidenced in many communities now. Many people in Ghana, especially rural communities depend on the environment for their livelihood. Unfortunately, these resources are being depleted and degraded and their sustainable use is no longer ensured.

Question 10

How can the risk to the poor and other vulnerable populations be addressed?

Answer

Ghana has a good knowledge of how the risk to the poor and other vulnerable populations should be addressed. These have been explicitly discussed in the GSGDA. Establishment of woodlots for wood fuel, timber and other wood needs by farmers is also a major way of averting the risk to the poor and vulnerable. Furthermore developing pro-poor strategies that are consistent with national development policy/agenda is very imperative.

Questionnaire D: Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty

Question 1

Is there a consensus among policy makers in your country on the meaning of the term green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication? If so, how is it defined? [If relevant, please provide any official publications or analytical studies on the concept of green economy or its operational or social implications, together with a short abstract. Answer

Green economy is an omnibus term like sustainable development but it nevertheless comprises economic policies and instruments to harness economic activities in a given country in support of one or more of its sustainable development goals.

Policy makers in Ghana have officially not come into consensus on the meaning of the term green economy. However, there is a general understanding that Green economy or green growth pathways seek convergence between the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainable development.

The concept should also reflect the goals of the countrys National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDSs), the Millennium Development goals and should have a generally integrative policy and planning direction in relevant sectors, particularly pro poor approaches, sustainable urban management and a programme for sustainable consumption and production.

From a Ghanaian perspective, transformation to a green economy means having sustainable recourse for policy direction in specific sectors such as energy, transport, agriculture, urban environmental management and infrastructure- roads, buildings and industrial installations.

Question 2

What are the main examples of green economy policies that are currently in place in your country?

Answer

Ghana has undertaken several green economic policies over the years. Government since 2005 has been undertaking consultations on how to green the national budget. In the area of energy, energy efficiency programmes such as opting for renewable choices, retrofitting existing buildings and other infrastructure to make them more energy efficient has been undertaken. The country has also provided support for research and development on environmentally friendly technologies using the Energy Fund. In the area of forestry there has been substantial public investment to restore, maintain and enhance the stock of natural capital. Incentives have also been provided for the private sector to invest in green sectors, especially forestry. The government has also undertaken subsidy reform, pricing of pollution, public procurement all in an effort to green the economy.

Question 3

What economic sectors do you consider to be most important to building a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication?

Answer

Ghana is now a net emitter of carbon dioxide even though its contribution in global terms is insignificant. With the emergence of the oil and gas sector, the country needs to strategize properly in order to escape the problems associated with oil economies, especially in Africa. It is perceived that investment in agriculture including forestry, energy, transport, energy, urban environmental management and infrastructure - roads, buildings and industrial installations are the areas around which the green economy should be built in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication?

Question 4

What green economy policies would you rate to be most effective? Please give reasons

Answer

Based on the specific needs of the country the following green economic policies would be rated as the most effective:

1. Policies of energy efficiency such as opting for renewable choices, retrofitting existing buildings and other infrastructure. This is due to the fact that improving energy efficiency will reduce wastage and all things being equal reduce production cost of firm, household expenditure on energy, reduce use of biomass for fuel and importation of petroleum products.

2. Policies that provide targeted support for research and development on environmentally friendly technologies. In agriculture, emphasis can be in the area of improved varieties that can with stand climate change and agricultural modernization. Clear policies on the dissemination and use of research findings are also very imperative. This is due to the fact that research and technology play a major role in the transition to green economy.

3. Policies that ensure substantial public investments in the restoration, maintenance and enhancement of natural capital, especially forest, lands, water bodies, etc.. This is due to the fact that the economy of Ghana depends mainly of natural resources and therefore the maintenance of these resources is very important for sustainable development.

4. Policies that ensure mass transportation use, example the Bus Rapid Transit System and the provision of bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways in urban areas. Policies that introduce progressive tax regimes for transportation fuels is also very imperative. This will reduce the current situation where every household strives to own a vehicle and consequently the reduction of emissions.

Question 5

How have those policies contributed to poverty eradication, other specific sustainable development goals?

Answer

Already there are some visible benefits of transitioning to the green economy. Ideal this would have been to quantify these benefits in monetary terms. Unfortunately Ghana is not in the position to do that now. In the next section the benefits in the areas of economics, social and environmental will be qualitatively discussed.

Economic Benefit

An obvious benefit of the green economy is that it can lead to ecological tax reforms. This means that taxes may gradually be shifted away from labour to the environmental bads. This will allow the burden of tax to fall more on polluter and to some extent encourage the polluter pay principle. Energy efficiency improvements can reduce cost to firms and household expenditure on energy. If these savings are channeled to productive sectors of the economy, they can spur growth. Mass and efficient transport systems will reduce cost and time of transportation and consequently increase incomes. Energy production, transportation and utilization often result in losses and much wastage. Reducing these losses through green economic policies  energy efficiency has led to some economic benefits. Furthermore improvement in research and technology will ensure efficiency and lead to increase in productivity which will benefit the average Ghanaian. Restoration and improvement of natural capital will ensure the continuous existence of the resources and constant flow of income since many Ghanaians depend on natural resources for their survival.

Environmental Benefit

A gradual introduction of ecological taxes may reduce pollution for the common good while the restoration of natural capital especially forest will positively affect sustainable development since they act as sinks for carbon. Mass transport systems and other efficient transport modes will reduce emission which will have positive health implications on the environment in general. Research and development and the introduction of technologies have also reduced resource use in many areas.

Social Benefit

Green economy policies have led to the introduction of higher taxes on fuel for private cars used by the affluent and individuals compared to taxes on fuel used by commercial vehicles which is usually used by the poor. This is helping to bridge the inequality in the economy and consequently leading to social harmony.

The transition to a green economy is also helping governments to reshape and redirect policies, investments and spending in key sectors such as clean technologies, renewable energies, water services, green transportation, waste management and sustainable agriculture and forests that benefit the poor. The transition to a green economy does not only seek coherence between the three pillars of sustainable development but also mitigates developmental challenges such as climate change and consequently benefits the poor.

Question 6

What in your view are the principal reasons for their success?

Answer

The principal reasons for their success are the availability of relevant institutional or technical capacity, moderate political support, broad engagement of business and civil society and international support in order of decreasing importance.

Question 7

What steps and actions have proven effective in building political and popular ownership for green economy measures?

Answer

There exist a plethora of actions that have proven effective in building political and popular ownership for green economy measures. These include:

Awareness raising, education and communication

Building consensus and networking

Genuine consultation of stakeholders

Inclusion of important stakeholders

Putting in place the necessary supporting pillars e.g. communication, finance,

Effective coordination, cooperation and the creation of synergies,

Question 8

Are there studies for your country that identify success factors, challenges or risks associated with green economy policies identified under Question 1? For each, kindly provide the original article or web link, and a short abstract.

Answer

Currently there may be no study specifically focusing on green economy though there are studies that assess some of the policies that have implication on green economy.

Question 9

Based on all of the above, what is (are) the key outcome(s) you think could emerge from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 with respect to a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication?

Answer

Countries will focus more on areas of green economy where they think they have interest without reference to whether the overall impact on their actions on international environmental management will be significant or not.

Question 10

What is the relationship of green economy policies to other policies and policy domain (e.g. Poverty, growth, employment, trade, etc.)? Are there cases of conflict and if so, how have these been addressed?

Answer

Green economy policies is likely to have some marginal negative impact on other policies and policy domain (e.g. Poverty, growth, employment, trade, etc.) in the short term but the impact may tapper off in the long run with right complementary policies. For example the introduction of emission charges may lead to an increase in transport fares which can affect all sectors of the economy since transport is an intermediary input to all production processes. Addressing this issue could be the use of revenue from emission charges to replace growth-inhibiting taxes on capital.

There are many challenges confronting the nation in its quest to transitioning to green economy. These among others include:

The high initial cost of investment for transition to green sectors and activities appear to be beyond the reach of many developing countries e.g. solar power for rural communities

A shift to a green economy or onto a green growth path requires major structural changes in energy and transportation systems which are dependent on infrastructure. Technical and financial assistance is needed for the transition

The social dimensions, especially poverty issues are sometimes not adequately covered in policy prescriptions on green economy. Some of these policy prescriptions may satisfy external conditions and standards but may not have favorable impacts on the lives of the citizenry if care for the domestic circumstances is not taken. A lot of sacrifices will have to be made by the poor if complementary policies are not poverty-reducing enough

Commitment to transform to a green economy, enforcement of regulations, mobilizing investments, strengthening the human resource base and embarking on effective research and development efforts are all real life challenges confronting the transition to green economy.

Perceived green economy policies in Ghana are policies derived from the master development policy of government i.e. the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA). While green economy growth paths are intended to set the direction for decades, if not generations to come, the GSGDA spans for the period 2010-2013. The challenge is to develop a long term plan.

Questionnaire E: Institutional framework for sustainable development

Question 1

Are there examples whether in the sustainable development domain or in related policy domains [ e.g., MDGs, other], where an effective institutional framework has contributed to significant positive outcomes at national level? International level?

Answer

Yes there are both effective international and local institutional frameworks that have contributed to significant positive outcomes. At the national level the development and implementation of the GPRS 1 could be an example while at the international level, mention could be made of the implementation of Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer and its Amendments.

Specifically, the GPRS I was formulated and implemented by the Government of Ghana from 2003- 2006 though there were direct and indirect donor influence Implementation. There exist several evidence both at the micro and at the macro levels that suggest that the formulation and implementation of the framework was very successful. It has been argued that the success can be attributed to international support and good will, government leadership and commitment and the goodwill and support of the people of Ghana

At the international level the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone layer and its Amendments provide an example of an international agreement that has been successfully negotiated and implemented. Reasons attributed to this success are the availability of cheap alternative to the use of CFCs. Many have also argued that the leadership role played by the USA in the implementation of the convention contributed significantly to the success of the Convention. Critiques have also argued that the comparative advantage of the USA in the production of alternatives to CFCs allowed them to ply that major role in the implementation of the convention.

Question 2

How can the lessons from such successes enhance the effectiveness of the institutional framework for sustainable development? Are there lessons relevant to the commission on sustainable development?

Answer

Many important lessons can be drawn from these examples and it is very important that the Commission on Sustainable Development learn from these lessons. Specifically, the Commission on Sustainable Development should realize that:

International support and goodwill is needed to fight the many environmental challenges that confront the world today. For example the success story of GPRS 1 can partly be attributed to the diverse support received from development partners.

Effective communication and participation of all and sundry is very important rather than a situation where parties are marginalized.

Strong leadership role and commitment is very important. The strong leadership role played by the major producer of CFC - USA, Japan and China, especially the USA contributed significantly to the implementation of the convention.

Making technology cheap and available to the poor communities who need it most

Making financial resources availability and on time is imperative

Commitment of Local Government to strengthen institutions including the passage and effective implementation of relevant legislations is very important .

Question 3

How can the lessons from such successes be used to enhance the effectiveness of international environmental governance/policy guidance?

Answer

The Commission on Sustainable Development can enhance the effectiveness of international environmental governance/policy guidance by ensuring that these lessons are taken on board in all negotiation. more clearer, stricter and quantitative monitoring and exaltation indicators should be developed to assess performance. Additionally, a strong leadership commitment to address issues at both international and local levels is imperative. Providing enabling environment for private sector and local level participation is also imperative.

Question 3

What in your experience has been the most effective means of strengthening major groups and other relevant stakeholders participation in national sustainable development efforts?

Answer

There exist many ways of strengthening major groups and other relevant stakeholders participation in national sustainable development efforts. However, the following measures will have a more positive impact:

Developing their capacity to engage government and to participate in national dialogue and issues

Creating the enabling policy environment within which they can participate efficiently and effectively

Directly facilitating their access to resources through various sources of funding with the view to making them fully independent from government.

Question 4

What are the most significant challenges facing international institutions charged with promoting sustainable development in Ghana?

Answer

Many international institutions charged with promoting sustainable development in Ghana sometimes fail to make the requisite impact. This can be attributed to:

lack of requisite and relevant information

reluctance of these institutions to taken into consideration the socio-cultural context when fashioning out programmes to ensure compatibility. For example any attempt to undertake land tenure reforms that does not take into consideration the socio-cultural context may fail due to the complex land ownership system.

Inadequate and unpredictable flow of funds which usually lead to suboptimal investment and consequently makes it difficult for the country to realize the benefits of the investments

Poor and ineffective Institutional coordination mechanism that leads to duplication of efforts and consequently ineffective use of funds

In general, the one-size-fit-all approach to development that has been adopted by many institutions does not offer a vivid solution to the many developmental challenges.

Question 5

What are the most significant challenges facing national institutions charged with promoting sustainable development in your country?

Answer

Like international institutions, local institutions charged with promoting sustainable development in Ghana also have challenges that make it difficult for them to make the requisite impact. These challenges include:

Unavailability of requisite and relevant information

Perpetual donor dependency

Inadequate flow of funds which usually lead to suboptimal investment and consequently makes it difficult for the country to realize the benefits of the investments

Poor and ineffective Institutional coordination mechanisms that lead to duplication of efforts and consequently ineffective use of funds

Unavailability of relevant capacity

Poor work environment and benefits

Question 6

What decisions should UNCSD aim to reach on the institutional framework for sustainable development? What are the main risks threatening a successful UNCSD outcome on the institutional framework?

Answer

Evidently, the institutional framework for sustainable development is diverse, largely uncoordinated to ensure synergies and relatively ineffective. This had led to the duplication of efforts and ineffective resources use and can weaken the UN system. We will therefore suggest the creation of the Inter- Agency Coordination for Sustainable Development and the High Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development to address these issues.
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