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close this bookSustaining the Future. Economic, Social, and Environmental Change in Sub-Saharan Africa (UNU, 1996, 365 p.)
View the documentNote to the reader from the UNU
close this folderPreface
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBackground
View the documentRegional environmental futures
View the documentReferences
View the documentOpening address by the Hon. Minister of Environment, Science and Technology
close this folderIntroduction
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEconomy and society: Development issues
View the documentEnvironmental issues and futures
View the documentEnvironment and resource management
View the documentInstitutional issues
View the documentEnvironment and development in Ghana
View the documentRecommendations
View the documentReferences
close this folderPart 1: Economy and society: development issues
close this folderPoverty, vulnerability, and rural development
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe nature of poverty
View the documentRural poverty and development in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the documentAspects of economy and society in SS Africa
View the documentVulnerability
View the documentPoverty and economic reform
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
close this folderEnvironmental management and social equity
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe key notions
View the documentThe political-economic context of contemporary environmental management
View the documentSocial equity and environmental management: Some examples
View the documentThe way forward
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close this folderIntroduction to population, resources, and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentInternal and international migration
View the documentNatural resources
View the documentHuman resources
View the documentPopulation, agricultural land, and food supply
View the documentPopulation, economy, and sustainable development
View the documentReferences
close this folderUrbanization and industrialization: What future for Sub-Saharan Africa?
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe continuing rapid rate and scale of urbanization
View the documentThe urban environment
View the documentThe limitations of industrialization
View the documentThe impact of structural adjustment
View the documentSub-Saharan Africa as the global periphery
View the documentImplications for urbanization and industrialization
View the documentReferences
close this folderUrban environmental management and issues in Africa south of the Sahara
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe process of urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the documentThe nature of environmental problems
View the documentCauses of the current problems
View the documentThe way forward
View the documentConcluding remarks
View the documentReferences
close this folderPart 2: Environmental issues and futures
close this folderTowards sustainable environmental and resource management futures in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe concept of sustainable development and its implications
View the documentDriving forces
View the documentLevels of environmental effects of human activities and sustainability concerns
View the documentConstraints on sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the documentRecommendations
View the documentReferences
close this folderDrought, desertification, and water management in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentDroughts in Sub-Saharan Africa and their implications for planning and development
View the documentDesertification
View the documentLand degradation and management of soil and water
View the documentConclusion
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentReferences
close this folderTropical deforestation and its impact on soil, environment, and agricultural productivity
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentTRF and its conversion
View the documentSoils of the TRF ecosystem
View the documentForest conversion and soil productivity
View the documentDeforestation and the emission of radiatively active gases
View the documentDeforestation and hydrological balance
View the documentSustainable use of the TRF ecosystem
View the documentResearch needs
View the documentReferences
close this folderThe coastal zone and oceanic problems of Sub-Saharan Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe value of the coastal zone and oceans
View the documentThe main problems and their causes
View the documentRemedies
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close this folderPart 3: Environment and resource management
close this folderAgricultural development in the age of sustainability: Crop production
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe ecological zones of Sub-Saharan Africa
View the documentGeneral crop production constraints and potentials for overcoming them
View the documentTechnologies with potential for sustainable resource management
View the documentWomen's underexploited potential
View the documentSuggested approaches to sustainable production
View the documentSummary
View the documentConclusions
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentReferences
close this folderAgricultural development in the age of sustainability: Livestock production
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentLivestock production, productivity, and feed resources
View the documentThe effect of government policy on livestock production
View the documentSuggested solutions
View the documentSummary and conclusions
View the documentReferences
close this folderThe fuelwood/energy crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentPopulation and environmental concerns
View the documentThe primary energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the documentProblems of the energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the documentThe socio-economic implications of the fuelwood crisis
View the documentStrategies to combat the fuelwood crisis Strategies to combst the fuelwood crisis
View the documentNew and renewable energy development
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
close this folderThe case for mineral resources management and development in Sub-Saharan Africa
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentReferences
close this folderPart 4: Institutional issues
close this folderModes of international and regional research cooperation
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe global change programmes
View the documentNetworking
View the documentEnvironmental governance
View the documentOutlook
View the documentReferences
close this folderNational, regional, and international cooperation for sustainable environmental and resource management: The place and roles of NGOs
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentInformation sharing
View the documentPartnerships with other institutions
View the documentDialogues with governmental and industry organs
View the documentLinking with policy institutions
View the documentWorking with monitoring institutions for effective implementation and accountability
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
close this folderPart 5: Environment and development in Ghana
close this folderInstitutional issues on the environment and resource management with reference to Ghana
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentEarly developments
View the documentThe Stockholm Conference and after
View the documentThe Environmental Action Plan (EAP)
View the documentInstitutional problems and issues
View the documentThe implementation of the Environmental Action Plan
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
close this folderThe environmental impact and sustainability of plantations in Sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana's experiences with oil-palm plantations
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentOverview of the plantation system in the Sub-Sahara
View the documentThe evolution of plantations in Ghana
View the documentThe positive impacts of the plantations
View the documentAdverse environmental impacts and sustainability
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
View the documentContributors

The Stockholm Conference and after

The United Nations Conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972 created a situation where the environment emerged as a global issue, and the social and economic implications of resource use, environment, and development became a major concern for many governments.

National and global strategies have been widely discussed and formulated since 1972, as evidenced in the two landmark reports The World Conservation Strategy (IUCN 1980) and Our Common Future (WCED 1987). The United Nations Environment Programme was set up after the conference as the global environmental conscience.

These emerging concerns found clear expression in the establishment of departments and other institutions of the environment and natural resources in a number of countries. These institutions were vested with legislation to provide wide overviews and functions involving environmental impact procedures, standard setting, monitoring, and training programmes. Ghana was one of the first of the developing countries to set up an environmental institution. The Environmental Protection Council (EPC) was established in 1974 by National Redemption Council Decree 23 under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

The functions of the EPC contained in its mandate were:

to advise the government generally on all environmental matters relating to the social and economic life of Ghana;

to coordinate the activities of all bodies concerned with environmental matters and to serve as a channel of communication between these bodies and the government;

to conduct and promote investigations, studies, surveys, research, analyses, including the training of personnel, relating to the improvement of Ghana's environment and the maintenance of sound ecological systems;

to serve as the official national body for cooperating and liaising with national and international organizations on environmental matters;

to undertake such studies and submit such reports and recommendations with respect to environmental matters as the government may request;

to embark upon general environmental educational programmes for the purpose of creating enlightened public opinion regarding the environment;

without prejudice to the economic and social advancement of Ghana, to ensure the observance of proper safeguards in the planning and execution of all development projects, including those already in existence, that are likely to interfere with the quality of the environment; and

to perform functions as the government may assign to the Council of all or any of the foregoing functions.

The membership of the EPC was drawn from ministries, universities, research institutions, public boards, and the general public. The EPC was to operate through specialized committees in the exercise of its functions. It was also to seek advice and to consult any public body in the discharge of its functions. Through the supervising ministry, legislative instruments and regulations may be made for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the decree establishing the EPC. In 1976, an amendment was made to the decree empowering the EPC to request information and enter premises to undertake inspection for the purposes of giving effect to the decree, backed by fines and imprisonment terms.

The ministerial location of the EPC varied with its perceived role. Its original location in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning was changed to that of Health in 1981, and a year later it was reassigned to the Ministry of Local Government. The roles shifted from an emphasis on planning, to health (sanitation), and to local issues. Problems still existed in developing the relevant concepts and the institutional framework to take in the functions of a single agency charged with overseeing the varied facets of the environment. Environmental management continued to be ad hoc and sectoral through the specialized committees of the EPC, e.g. natural ecosystems, human settlements, industrial pollution, water, and hazardous chemicals. The environmental problems persisted and increased in occurrence and intensity. Notable were deforestation, soil erosion, water and air pollution, and urban waste disposal. Decisions reached by the committees could not be effectively implemented, and the EPC had to rely on the goodwill and understanding of the ministries and agencies concerned.

The EPC sometimes found itself in a situation where it had to take over the responsibilities of other institutions owing to the inability of these agencies to perform their assigned roles effectively. The EPC was then accused of taking on too much. This situation arose because, as environmental problems increased, the general public tended to look to the Council to resolve these problems.

With the EPC shying away from accusations of taking over the role of others, a situation was created where some problems that did not fall within the sphere of responsibility of any one body were left unattended to. In addition, and with time, the mandate of sectoral agencies proved inadequate to cope with the increasing problems resulting from increasing development and also from inadequate personnel, equipment, and enforcement powers.