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Ghana’s fish landing sites under threat – FoN

Mr Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah (right) addressing the participants. Photo Michael Ayeh

About half of Ghana’s fish landing sites across the coast are under threat, Friends of the Nation (FoN), a non-governmental organisation has said.

According to them, most of the fishing communities were losing  their source of livelihoods  to  the increasing takeover  of  the  shorelines  for  residential and commercial  facilities to the  detriment of  fishing.

The Programmes Manager of  FoN, Kyei  Kwadwo Yamoah said this  at a day’s national multi-stakeholder  policy  dialogue  on securing  fish landing sites  in Accra.

The policy dialogue aimed at engaging policy makers, stakeholders on fish landing sites securing Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) and Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries (SSF) guidelines to promote impactful policy development planning.

 It is also to improve policy formulation and implementation to promote responsible governance of tenure, sustainable, social  and economic development  and help eradicate poverty and encourage responsible investment in the fisheries sector.

VGGT is an international instrument that can be used by many different actors to improve the governance of tenure of land fisheries and forests.

According to Mr Yamoah landing sites were important in the fishing industry as fishermen would need to land their canoes and fish as well as process it.

He said it was therefore necessary to secure landing sites for the fishermen as “they are one of the most important elements that support the fishing industry.”

In order to ensure the  security of  fish landing  sites across the country,  Mr Yamoah  said, his  outfit  was  collating recommendations and  roadmaps that would help them streamline the  securing of fish landing sites  and ensure that they were properly demarcated and documented as well as legally approved  for  fishing communities.

“This will ensure that investors and developmental agencies would not come and take over landing sites in the near future,” he added.

 Mr Yamoah said his outfit and its partners through the application of the VGGT principles were securing fish landing sites in five pilot communities namely Kedzikope, Abutiakope, and Whuti in the Volta Region, Anomabo in the Central Region and Abuesi in the Western Region.

 These landing sites, he said were being secured under the ‘Far Ban Bo’ (FBB) project  which  is a four-year  European Union- funded  fisheries  governance  project  being implemented in Ghana  from 2017 to  2020.

He said the purpose of securing the landing sites was to contribute towards protecting and improving the livelihoods of smallholder fishers and other users of fishery resources through providing social and economic safeguards.

The Executive Director of FoN, Mr Donkris Mevuta said community and stakeholder consultations were held to inform the fishermen on the objective and purpose of securing their interest in securing landing sites.

 He also mentioned that negotiation, boundary setting, field mapping, documentation and registration with the relevant public institutions and traditional authorities were done to ensure they were approved.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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EU threatens to ban cocoa from Ghana over galamsey-induced land degradation

The European Union (EU) is threatening to ban cocoa from Ghana if the negative impact of illegal mining on the country’s environment persists.

Making a presentation at the ongoing National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining in Accra today, April 15, 2021, the Deputy Chief Executive in-Charge of Agronomy and Quality Control at COCOBOD, Dr. Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh, expressed fears about the impact of the development on Ghana’s cocoa sector.

Currently, Ghana exports 80 percent of its cocoa to the European Union.

But Dr. Emmanuel Agyemang Dwomoh said immediate action must be taken to avert the possible sanctions.

“As we speak, EU is threatening to ban Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, to impose legislative instrument restrictions on the importation of cocoa from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to their courts.”

He said the EU is taking this course of action because areas shown in satellite images to have been forested in the 70s and 80s in Ghana have all experienced land degradation in the decades since.

“When you take the satellite images, you will see those places in red. The EU thinks that all those places are red because cocoa is causing land degradation [in Ghana], meanwhile, it is as a result of the galamsey activities.”

He further raised concerns about the devastating effects of the galamsey activities on the production of cocoa in Ghana and its exportation.

“The impact of these mining activities on cocoa production is enormous. There is crop loss, reduction of crop yield and income, loss of vegetation, the fertility of the crop soil is destroyed and [there’s also] an early dropping of immature pods, as a result of the chemicals that they use,” he lamented.

In January 2021, the European Union announced that it will contribute €25 million to enhance the economic, social and environmental sustainability of cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cameroon who are, respectively, the first, second and fifth-biggest cocoa producers, generating almost 70% of the world production.

This funding is to strengthen the partnership between Team Europe (composed of the EU, its Member States, and European financial institutions) and the three cocoa-producing countries and aims at ensuring a decent living income for farmers, halting deforestation and eliminating child labour.


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Environmental Justice Foundation decries money lost in Ghana’s fishing sector

File photo

The Environmental Justice Foundation says the government of Ghana loses between US$14 million and 23 million annually in the trawl sector.

The Foundation attributes the revenue losses to low licence fees in the sector as well as poor punitive regime for fisheries-related infringements.

This was contained in a research that showed that nine out of every 10 fishing trawlers operating in Ghana are beneficially owned by the Chinese.

Fisheries Programmes Manager of the Environmental Justice Foundation, Socrates Segbor, in an interview with Citi News said, the government needs to address fronting for foreign trawl companies by locals.

“We could potentially be generating about $14.4 million annually if we were targeting this beneficial ownership. If we were targetting the beneficial owners then the right amount of fine imposed, if the vessel is forced to pay such penalties after investigations have confirmed that indeed they have committed this crime, that will be deterrent enough to prevent others from indulging in such illegalities or irresponsible fishing practices. This will subsequently be helping to reduce the overall irresponsible fishing practices that are happening across the various sectors of the marine fishing sector.”

Meanwhile, a former Executive Secretary of the Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association, Richster Nii Amarh Amarfio, says the report must be discredited.

He makes the point that the Environmental Justice Foundation is not a credible organization to publish such reports.

“I want to believe that the credibility of the Environmental Justice Foundation will first have to be called into question. Their first letter inviting industry players to the launch of their first book was signed by someone who was in the UK. They claim that people are fronting but why will a British sign a letter inviting people to a meeting of a report that was done in Ghana by a company going through equity without a cleaner.”

“From that day, I told their leaders that until they stop fronting for us to talk as Ghanaians, I will always have issues with what they come out with. As we talk, the EU is on our neck saying they want free access to our water bodies. So basically what I am saying is that, the report is not credible because they have not spoken to the people they are talking about”, he explained.


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Tamale: 50 Shea-based cosmetic processors trained on labeling & standard compliance

Tamale: 50 Shea-based cosmetic processors trained on labeling & standard compliance
Some of the participants at the seminar

Fifty Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) engaged in shea-based cosmetic processing in the northern cluster have undergone capacity-building training on labeling and standard compliance in the Tamale Metropolis.

The training was organized by the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) with funding support from the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP)-Ghana, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nation’s Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The training in collaboration with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) through the WACOMP-Ghana Sub -Contracting Matching Scheme is the second of its kind, geared towards increasing the quality of the shea-based cosmetics products that are marketed for local and international consumption.

Mr. Charles Kwame Sackey, the Chief Technical Advisor of WACOMP-Ghana, said the sub-contracting matching scheme in support of the training is to help ensure the cosmetic producers understand the registration process and related requirements by GSA and FDA as they seek to grow their domestic market share and export their products to the international market.

 “This will, in turn, strengthen the export competitiveness of local producers through enhanced value-addition, low carbon emission, sustainable production and processing, and an increased access to regional and international markets,” he said.

Mr. Sackey also reminded the SMEs of the opportunity the African Free Continental Trade Area (AfCTA) offers and why they must always produce to meet the required quality standards.

Mr. Prince Nunoo, Membership Manager of Global Shea Alliance (GSA), said the alliance will continue to support shea -based SMEs to be sustainable and reiterated that the collaboration between WACOMP-Ghana and GSA will continue to help scale-up businesses in Ghana.

Mr. Martin Kusi, the Northern Regional Director of the FDA, commended the organizers for the initiative, stating that poor labeling and packaging represents one of the biggest challenges for shea-processing SMEs in the region, as it affects the marketability of their products.

 “Most of the local entrepreneurs are seen producing ineffective labels without batch numbers, manufacturing dates, location address and other relevant details. This makes it difficult for GSA management to certify the products for the market,” he said.

Mr. Charles Kuranchie, Chief Quality Assurance officer at the GSA, stressed that it is an offense to put products on the market without preapproval by the FDA and GSA. He added that there are severe legal repercussions for breaching this directive.

Source:3 News

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