Cover Image
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
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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
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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
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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 Environmental Action Plan (EAP)

Beginning in the early 1980s, especially following a severe drought in 1983 that affected the whole country and resulted in widespread bush fires, the protectionist and sector-oriented approach to environmental management with limited scope began to change as the state of the natural resource base deteriorated rapidly and began to pose a problem for the future prospects of development. The EPC initiated and led the way in the preparation of a number of plans and programmes, including the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (1985), the National Plan of Action to Combat Desertification (1986), the Draft National Conservation Strategy (1987), and the National Environmental Protection Programme (1987). The new approach was aided by the launching of the World Conservation Strategy in 1980 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in which the term "sustainable development" was used.

One major principle of sustainable development was to provide a framework for integrating development and conservation, in terms of laws, institutions, and policies. Following on these developments, one of the specialized committees of the EPC, the Natural Ecosystems Committee, initiated moves in 1986 to prepare a National Conservation Strategy for Ghana. To do this a national conference on the theme "Resource Conservation for Ghana's Sustainable Development" was organized in 1987. The conference brought together scientists, planners, economists, and decision makers to discuss how Ghana's development could be made sustainable. After the conference, the ideas gathered were to be used for the preparation of the National Conservation Strategy.

During this period the country had embarked on its Economic Recovery Programme (ERP), beginning in 1983, to reverse the economic decline of the country. The key factors accounting for the initial achievements of the ERP included the exploitation of the natural resource systems of the country. The environmental degradation that accompanied the economic growth and exploitation of the natural resources imposed costs on the economy of the country. This led the government to direct the EPC in March 1988 to set up a "think tank" "to develop environmental issues for incorporation into the second phase of the ERP." The work of the "think tank" was followed by the setting up of sectoral working groups on land, forestry and wildlife, water management, marine and coastal ecosystems, mining, manufacturing industries, and hazardous chemicals, and human settlements to address in detail the issues identified in the think tank's report and the proceedings of the 1987 national conference. These, together with the issues identified during a series of regional and district forums on the environment in 1987, led to the preparation of an Environmental Action Plan (EAP) for Ghana (EPC 1991), which was to address the nation's environmental problems in a comprehensive and integrated manner. It was to provide a technical, institutional, and legal framework for dealing with the problems of land and water degradation, diminishing forest and wildlife resources, and problems associated with mineral extraction and other industrial activities (fig. 17.1).

The concept of sustainable development runs through the Plan, which integrates the previous ad hoc programmes, which were sectoral in nature, into a comprehensive strategy addressing all issues of concern not only to Ghanaians but also to the international environmental movement at large. The Plan seeks to redirect national development into more environmentally sustainable programmes and practices through the following:

the protection and preservation of the resource base;

prior assessment of the potential environmental impacts of development projects;

alternative or multi-purpose uses of land and water resources;

the promotion of popular participation in planning, evaluating, and implementing environmental and development strategies.

The Plan sets out an environmental policy for Ghana and makes the attainment of a high-quality environment a key element in the country's economic and social development. It also provides guidance and sets out an action-oriented strategy that specifies the role of sectoral ministries, agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and indeed of every Ghanaian in its implementation. It is recognized that the realization of the objectives in the EAP and the national environmental policy can be attained only through collaboration and cooperation among institutions with responsibility for various aspects of resource management and environmental protection.


Fig. 17.1 An integrative institutional framework for environmental management and policy (Source: EPC 1991)