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Environmental Communication

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									            WORKING PAPER




     USING ENVIRONMENTAL
COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP TO
   LEVERAGE ENVIRONMENTAL
  PERFORMANCE IN DEVELOPING
 COUNTRIES: LESSONS FROM GHANA



         Mr. Isaac Kwasi Egyir
      Human Ecology Department,
  Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BELGIUM
        Email: iegyir@vub.ac.be




                   1
CONTENT                                                                                                                                       PAGE

ACRONYMS ..........................................................................................................................................3
ABSTRACT .............................................................................................................................. 4
1.      Introduction ....................................................................................................................................5
     1.1     The Definition and Concept of Communication ....................................................................5
         1.1.1           Concept of Environmental Communication ..................................................... 6
     1.2         The Definition and Concept of Leadership ............................................................................8
        1.2.1     Concept of Environmental Leadership ............................................................. 9
     1.3      Link between Environmental Communication and Leadeship ............................... 10
2.      Statement of Research the Problem ..............................................................................................10
     2.1     Objectives of the Paper ........................................................................................................11
     2.2    Guiding Hypotheses ................................................................................................ 11
3.      Conceptual Framework of the Paper ............................................................................... 11
4.      Materials and Methods .................................................................................................................13
     4.1    The Study Location ..............................................................................................................13
     4.2         Data Collection Analysis ......................................................................................... 13
5.      Results and Discussion .................................................................................................................15
     5.1     The State of Ghana's Environment.......................................................................................16
         5.1.1           Perception of Environmental Problems in Ghana .......................................... 16
     5.2      Environmental Policy and Implementing Instituitions in Ghana .........................................17
        5.2.1      Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) .....................................................................18
        5.2.2      National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) ............................................................18
        5.2.3      Ghana Environmental REsources Management systems (GERMS) ...........................19
        5.2.4      Forest and Wildlife Policy ..........................................................................................20
        5.2.5      Environment Sanitation Policy (ESP) .........................................................................20
        5.2.6      Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) ..................................................................20
     5.3      Environmental Implementing Instituitions in Ghana ...........................................................21
        5.3.1      Roles of Key Stakeholders .........................................................................................22
           5.3.1.1    The Role of Government of Ghana .........................................................................22
           5.3.1.2    Awareness of Environmental Projects and Programmes ........................................22
        5.3.2      The Role of Environmentalists and Civil Society Organization ................................24
        5.3.3      The Role of Local Authorities ....................................................................................24
     5.4      Environmental Communication and Awareness ..................................................................24
     5.5      Environmental Programme listen to on Radio by Respondents ...........................................26
     5.6         Are the Target of Environmental Communication Met? ........................................ 26
6.      Key Challenges and Recommendation .........................................................................................27
     6.1    Environmental Leadership and Communication Challenges ...............................................27
         6.1.1           Environmental Leadership and Institutional Incapacity.................................. 27
        6.1.2       Inadequate Participation of Local Communities in Decision Making.........................28
        6.1.3       Rapid Population Growth and Unemployment ...........................................................29
        6.1.4       Inadequate Environmental Communication and Education ........................................29
     6.2      Strategies for Improving Environmental Leadership and Communication .........................30
        6.2.1       Strengthening Environmental Leadership, Institutional and Human Capacity ...........30
        6.2.2       Promote Collaborative and Participatory Environmental Management ......................30
        6.2.3       Effective Management of Population and Unemployment .........................................31
         6.2.4    Promote Environmental Communication and Education ................................ 31
7.       Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 32
8.       Literature Cited .............................................................................................................................33




                                                                            2
LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES

Figure 1: Diagram showing Communication Processes ........................................................................6
Figure1: Eight Good Qualities of an Environmental Leader .................................................. 9
Figure 3:     Conceptual Framework of the Paper....................................................................................12
Figure 4:     Environmental Policy and Implementing Institutions .........................................................22
Figure 5:     Respondents Awareness of Environmental Projects and Programmes ................................23
Figure 6:     Distribution of Respondents Access to Environmental Information ...................................25
Figure 7:     Respondents who like to get more Environmental Information ..........................................26


Table 1: Some Leadership Attributes ...................................................................................................8
Table 2: Demographic characterization of Respondents ....................................................................15
Table 3: Major Environmental Problems Percieved by Respondents ................................................17



ACRONYMS
AMA                  Accra Metropolitan Area
ANOVA                Analysis of Variance
CPP                  Convention Peoples Party
CRES                 Conservation and Research for Endangered Species
EPA                  Environmental Protection Agency
EPC                  Environmental Protection Council
ERP                  Economic Recovery Programme
ESP                  Environmental Sanitation Policy
EU                   European Union
GERMS                Ghana Environmental Resource Management Systems
GDP                  Gross domestic Product
GPRS                 Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy
IMF                  International Monetary Fund
MDA                  Ministries, Departments and Agencies
MEST                 Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
NDC                  National Democratic Congress
NDPC                 National Development Planning Commission
NEAP                 National Environmental Action Plan
NFED                 Non-formal Education Division
NGOs                 Non-Governmental Organisations
SEA                  Strategic Environment Assessment
SPSS                 Statistical Package for Social Sciences
UNDP                 United Nation Development Programme




                                                                   3
ABSTRACT

Environmental degradation in developing countries has reached alarming proportions. The towns and cities are
experiencing severe air pollution due to rapid urbanisation. The fringes of cities are experiencing unplanned
development; the lack of proper sewerage systems is resulting in water pollution; and the over-exploitation of
national resources is causing soil erosion, deforestation and desertification, and biodiversity loss. This therefore
provides the impetus for examining the importance of environmental communication and leadership in
leveraging environmental performance and standards in Ghana. This paper reviews the current environmental
situation in Ghana, the various environmental policies, programmes and projects embarked upon to leverage the
problem, the institutional framework in Ghana and explore the potential for the use of effective communication
by the environmental leadership to improve the environmental performance and standards of this developing
country, Ghana. The results and discussions are synthesised, key challenges to environmental leadership and
communication identified and recommendations suggested.


Keywords: Environmental Policy; Environmental Communication; Environmental Leadership; Environment;
Environmental Performance




                                                         4
1.     INTRODUCTION

All human activities, processes and patterns (driving forces) influence the environment and, in
a number of cases, exert pressure on it (Nvenakeng, 2007: 11). The political, economic and
social importance of environmental degradation, and the inter-sectoral and cross-national
nature of environmental problems make inherent the need for better communication and co-
ordination of environmental policies and programmes at all levels (Mehers, 1998: 4). Policy-
makers and environmental experts often rely solely on legislative, financial and technological
tools to design and implement environmental policies and programmes, ignoring or
disregarding the social and human aspects. These programmes and policies are frequently not
accepted by the stakeholders and are only marginally effective or not implemented at all.


One of the major challenges for policy-makers and environmental experts is how well to
integrate communication into all phases of environmental policy, programme-design
processes and the projects that are formulated and implemented. Actors such as Non-
Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who are involved in mobilising the public into
promoting environmental initiatives do not have the requisite environmental leadership skills.
This paper aims to define environmental management in Ghana and the importance of
environmental communication and leadership as instruments for leveraging environmental
performance.

1.1    The Definition and Concept of Communication

In every communication, a message is being passed from the communicator to the receiver,
the message can be in words, symbols, actions, shapes, loudness, movement, smell or colours
and always pass through a media say radio, television, newspapers, books, magazines,
posters, road-side board, internet, telephone, etc. to the receiver or the audience who interpret
it and also respond to it either negatively or positively depending on his/her environment and
culture (see Figure 1).


Communication contains more of the human element and is far more subjective than in
science and less attentive to empirical data (Davis, 2005: 356). It exudes from the individual
human into a social context in which it can be either clarified into meaning or disrupted into
confusion. So what is said or written is modified or tempered by personality and beliefs, and
its reception depends upon the audience and the other elements in the semantic environment



                                               5
in which the message is being delivered. Communication is closely associated with
personality of the individual, but that personality is often steeped in unique cultural and
environmental background. We need to know about the culture of the people, life style,
religion, the society and the environment to enable us communicate effectively.


Figure 1. Diagram showing Communication Processes


                                            Culture
     Message
     Contents
         Words                             Media
         symbolic
     Forms
        Oral
     -Accent
     -Loudness
        Visual
     -Written                             Environment                   - Right Public?

     -Shapes                                                             - Right
     -Colours                                                           understanding?
     -Movement                                                           -Right action?
  Smell              Coding                          Decoding



Source: Boon, 2007

1.1.1 Concept of Environmental Communication

The theory of environmental communication borrows heavily from other types of applied
communication such as health communication, development communication, family-planning
communication and risk communication. It is a more recent in terms of theory and relatively
new as an environmental management tool. There is therefore less literature on it as compared
to communication in the other applied communication (Mehers, 1998: 6).



                                              6
Environmental communication is a multi-disciplinary, drawing on such disciplines as
environmental education, social sciences, psychology, advertising, marketing, mass
communication and others. It sets itself apart from other fields of communication primarily
through the nature of problems which projects are trying to solve or manage. Due to the
complexity of environmental problems there is no one definition of environmental
communication therefore, its definition can be controversional.


Environmental communication can be defined as the strategic use of communication
techniques to support and promote environmental policies and projects, and to make them
more effective through closer relationship with actors involved (Mehers, 1998: 5), the World
Bank, defines it as the transfer of environmental information from Agencies or NGOs to the
public to enrich their knowledge and influence opinions, attitudes, and behaviour with regard
to the environment (Mehers, 1998: 5). It can also be said to be one instrument among others,
such as regulatory or economic instruments (taxes, charges, etc.) that are used to redress
environmental problems (Vinke, 1993: 39).


It is a deliberate and systematic conception, development, evaluation and delivery of objective
messages which are “two-way” in transmission and reception, based on the most currently
available valid scientific data as well as the prevailing public sentiment, designed to aid
individuals and groups alike in their efforts to solve present environmental problems, prevent
future ones and develop in an ecologically sustainable manner (Smith-Sabasto et al., 1994: 2).


Nevertheless, environmental communication has the following characteristics which seem to
be agreed on by practitioners. It is a participatory and “two-way” (not “one-way”) process; all
implicated stakeholders should be included to promote ownership and involvement in the
activity. Messages and means should be carefully tailored to receiving target groups. Planning
is very important to ensure that the necessary actors are involved, and that the messages and
means will reach them at the appropriate time in the most appropriate way. A feedback loop is
very necessary to ensure that the information received in dialogue can be incorporated into the
communication.




                                              7
1.2     Definition and Concept of Leadership

Leadership is about leading – but within the context of organisation. It is the process of
inducing others to take action towards a common goal (Locke, 1991). It is about dealing with
people, usually within a group and about changing behaviour, attitudes and organisational
values to conform to the leader‟s vision for the group. Rost, 1991 sees leadership as “an
influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their
mutual purposes”.


As such, leadership constitutes a process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to
learn and accomplish shared goals in organizations. Most often, leaders arise out of the
culture of the place in which they lead and do not exist separately from that culture (Kathy,
2006: 15). The addition of adjectives in front of the word leadership such as business
leadership, educational leadership or political leadership reflects the various views of scholars
on the subject. More recently, environmental leadership has been added to the list. Table 1,
shows some of the attributes of a leader.

Table 1: Some Leadership Attributes

QUALITIES                      ATTRIBUTES
a) Visionary                   Being able to articulate the future in clear simple language. A leader
                               should be able to state concretely what success will look like and how
                               their organization will get there. He should be ambitious.
b) Emotional Intelligence      Some call this a "gut instinct or an innate sense about what other is
(Energetic and strong-willed) feeling." A leader should be able to read people – to know what they
                               want or need.
c) Empower                     Teach people how to accomplish a task. A good leader should learn to
                               listen.
d) Trustworthy                 Leader‟s behaviour should be consistent with his/her beliefs. Should be
(accountable, clear)           predictable and able to make her/his decision clear and keep it.
e) Risk - taker                Leaders should be able to take risks as well as acknowledge and
                               reward risk-taking in others.
f) Focus & follow through      This involves setting priorities and doing what you say you will.
g) A good motivator            Learning to give positive feedback is crucial e.g. simple praises,
                               appreciation (a simple "thank you" regularly will earn you respect), and
                               recognition (awards, credit on a report, a letter of commendation).



                                                  8
QUALITIES                     ATTRIBUTES
h) Sense of humour (self-     The ability to laugh at oneself demonstrates a degree of self-knowledge
confident, courageous)        and is the easiest way to bring others along with you.


Source: Adapted from Zimmerman, 2004


1.2.1 Environmental Leadership

Like any other kind of leadership, environmental leadership influences people to follow in the
achievement of common environmental goals. Environmental leadership is the ability to
influence and direct the performance of an individual or a group towards the attainment of a
just and sustainable future. A good environmental leader should be able to i) develop long-
term action oriented sustainable solutions and effectively communicate them across
established organizational networks, ii) respond to interdisciplinary and global socio-
economic and environmental challenges cost-effectively, and iii) achieve compliance without
extinguishing the spark for risk taking, innovation and business advances among other
leadership qualities (see Figure 2).


Figure 2. Eight Good Qualities of an Environmental Leader


                                             Offer new
                                            sustainable
                                             solutions
               Good                                                         Action
            communicator                                                   oriented




                Vision                   Environmental                    Opportunity
               oriented                     Leader                          seeker




             Persistent and                                                   Good
              courageous                                                     marketing
                                                                               skills
                                           Consensus
                                           & network
                                            builder


Source: Paoletto, 2000


                                                 9
But does environmental leadership matter, particularly in the twenty-first century (of global
uncertainty, innovation, change, ecological vulnerability, globalisation and rapid advances in
technology among other global social changes and complex)? Yes, it matters, especially with
the increasing awareness of global increased interdependence among individuals,
organisations, communities, nations, and the biosphere (Karakas, 2007: 23). It is the
environmental leadership team in an organisation or nation that critically evaluates, diagnoses,
stewards and decides upon the kind of strategy, structure and human process to communicate
and adapt in order to shape the future character and capacity of organisational or/and of
national environmental management and care system.

1.3    Link between Environmental Communication and Leadership

Communication is a very important management tool which can be used to solve all the
problems of the world if carried out effectively (Nvenakeng, 2007: 4). Even leaders who are
strongly committed to improve environmental quality can not impose it upon people who do
not understand or appreciate its importance. Conversely, even the most reluctant of political
leaders can not fail to improve environmental quality when their people demand it
(Nvenakeng, 2007: 4). Communication through interpersonal, group, mass media etc. is at the
heart of these processes. People take decisions for change once they have been motivated and
empowered by the information they have internalised and found relevant to themselves and
their interest (Fraser, 1998: 39).


It is evident that environmental leadership cannot achieve its objective without
communicating effectively with its inhabitants. Special target group for Ghana National
Environmental Action Plan include: households, schools, social organizations, citizens,
economic sectors like industries, consumers, agriculture, transport and related socio-economic
organ as the employers organization. These target groups must also cooperate to seek for
solution to environmental problems and implementation.

2.0    STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

In Ghana and most developing countries, environmental degradation is occurring at alarming
proportions. Environmental situation in Ghana is characterised by desertification, land
degradation, desertification, soil erosion, and inadequate water supply in the northern part of
Ghana, fast rate of urbanisation, rapid industrialisation, involving both the manufacturing
sector and the intensification of agricultural activities. Most often environmental leadership in


                                               10
developing countries and Ghana do not apply effective communication in the management of
environmental problems. Without appropriate environmental leadership and effective
communication however, promotion of environmental quality and standards will remain only
a dream.


Policies and programmes to leverage environmental performance in Ghana most often does
not involve active partnership of government, stakeholders and all segments of society.
Finally, the incapacity of political leaders to show a strong zeal towards the management of
environmental problems in Ghana is a fundamental challenge facing promoting environmental
quality and standards in Ghana. Ghanaians must be mobilized to carry on and amplify
government actions in favour of sustainable development. Environmental leadership should
integrate effective communication into all phases of environmental policy, programme-design
processes and projects in order to leverage environmental performance in Ghana.


2.1    Objectives of the Paper

The objectives of the paper are: a) assess the level of awareness of key environmental
problems in Ghana, b) to identify and review key environmental policies to redress
environmental challenges in Ghana, and c) to examine how environmental stakeholders use
communication to leverage environmental performance in Ghana.


2.2    The Guiding Hypotheses

The guiding hypotheses of this paper are: a) effective environmental leadership in Ghana can
significantly influence and direct the engagement of individuals and organisations towards
achieving high environmental performance Ghana, and b) environmental leaders who
effectively communicate environmental values to the public and the various stakeholders will
significantly help to contribute towards the attainment of high environmental performance.


3.0    CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF PAPER

This paper applies environmental communication and leadership as its conceptual framework
and attempts to link it with, environmental policy, institutional arrangements, and
participation by stakeholders (see Figure 3). The paper seeks to verify the application of
communication as instrument by environmental leadership to leverage environmental
performance and standards in Ghana.


                                             11
    Figure 3:     Conceptual Framework of the Paper


          Leveraging Environmental Performance through Effective Communication and
                                         Leadership



      Environmental              Environnemental                 Environnemental
      Policies, Laws               Leadership                    Communication
      and Projects


      -   Land use                 -    Government              Channels/Media :
      -   Forestry and                  Ministries              - Radio / Television
          Biodiversity             -    Government              - Newspaper
      -   Population and                Departments             - Magazines and Periodicals
          Urbanisation             -    Governmennt             - Drama troupes
      -   Water Quality                 Agencies                - Cinema Vans
      -   Coastal and              -    NGOs                    - Opinion Leaders/Chiefs
          Wetlands                 -    Private Sector          Population/Target:
      -   Environmental                 Organisations           - Individuals
          Eiplacement              -    Communities             - Groups and Association
          and Refugee              -    Community               - Traders
                                        Leaders                 - Farmers
                                   -    Opinion Leaders         Impacts:
                                   -    Individuals             1. Environmental
                                   -    Associations               Communication is not yet
                                   -    Academia                   fully integrated into
                                                                   country‟s educational
                                                                   system
                                                                2. Lack of scientific
                                                                   information and low level of
                                                                   environmental awareness



Environmental                    Environmental Care             Environmental
Management                                                      Conservation



             Improvement in Environmental Care and Performance in Ghana



    Source: Adapted from Mehers, 1998




                                               12
4.0    MATERIALS AND METHODS

4.1    The Study Location

This study was conducted in Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) of Ghana. The Accra
Metropolitan Area is in Accra the capital of Ghana. The geographic coordinates of Accra are
5° 32' 60"North latitude and 13' West longitude. Accra is located 324 feet above sea level.
Accra is served by Kotoka International Airport. To the north of Accra there are the cities of
Avenaw and Kokomlemle. Jonkobri and Damba lie to the western side, Wiaboman and
Gbegbenshona are on the south and Ridge lies to the east of Accra. Accra‟s population was
estimated at 1.0 million in 1984. If the 1970–84 growth rate of 3.2 percent per annum persists,
Accra‟s population would be about 1.2 million in 1990 and would grow to about 1.8 million
by the year 2010 (World Bank, 1997: 235).



The selection of AMA was motivated by the peculiar socio-economic and environmental
characteristics which render this area relevant for the basis of investigation. First, Accra is the
hub of administration, economy, and communication of Ghana. Majority of the head offices
of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government are situated in
Accra. There are various places of tourist attractions at Accra like National Museum, National
Theatre, Center for National Culture and Makola Market. Second, the high increase in
population in the area has placed great stress on already overburdened environment,
infrastructure, services, and housing facilities. Finally, the communities selected for the
investigation are characterised by all types of people, trade, profession, education and assess
to information and environmental projects/programmes by the government of Ghana and
other stakeholders.


4.2    Data Collection and Analysis

Data were collected from both secondary and primary sources. An extensive review of
Ghana‟s environmental policy documents, relevant journals, publications, reports and case
studies in Ghana and other developing countries provided the theoretical basis for designing
the field instruments and analysis of the data. Primary data were collected through a
triangulated approach that respectively used structured questionnaires which contained both
open and closed ended questions. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the study
sample from specified sub-groups within the population because they satisfy certain qualities



                                                13
which are not randomly distributed but are typical or/and they exhibit most of the
characteristics of interest to the study (Kumekpor, 1999: 301-302). The characteristics include
qualities as knowledge, ideas and relevant information concerning the various environmental
challenges, environmental policies, laws, programmes and projects in Ghana.


Using random sampling techniques, a total of 400 respondents comprising of 240 (60%)
males and 160 (40%) females were selected for questionnaire interviews (see Table 2).
Another 30 key-informants were interviewed including leadership of the 3 leading
environmental Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), first 3 private companies according
Ghana Club 100 and the leadership of the 4 most conspicuous political parties. Others
interviewed include opinion leaders, Unit Committee and Assembly members, religious
leaders, community leaders and elders, and members of interest groups including women and
youth groups.


Structured interviews were conducted on the staff of the Government Ministries, Departments
and Agencies (MDAs). Key policy issues that were investigated through the interview were:
key environmental challenges in Ghana; environmental policies and laws put in place to
leverage these environmental performance; methods of environmental communication used,
and the values that are communicated to the inhabitants and extent to which stakeholders are
involved in the formulation and implementation of environmental policies/programmes and
projects.


The collected data were coded and inputted as nominal and ordinal data into the Statistical
Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 13) (Landau and Everitt, 2004: 1-5) and the results are
presented and illustrated using frequencies, percentages, histograms, pie charts, graphs and
charts. A test of statistical significance using multiple regression and Analysis of Variance
(ANOVA) were performed to establish the interrelationships and significance of
environmental leadership, environmental communications and environmental performance.




                                              14
Table 2:      Demographic Characteristics of Respondents

Category        Variables                       Frequency      Percentage    Cumulative
                                                                             Percentage
               18-25                                208             52            52
Age            26-35                                108             27            79
               36-60                                 64             16            95
               60 and Above                          20              5           100
               Total                                400            100
Gender         Male                                 240             60             60
               Female                               160             40            100
               Total                                400            100
               Married                              148             37             37
               Single                               216             54             91
Marital Status Divorced                              16              4             95
               Widowed                               20              5            100
               Total                                400            100
               No-Education                          40             10             10
               Non-Formal Education                  48             12             22
Education      Primary Education                     64             16             38
               Secondary Education                  172             43             81
               University                            68             17             98
               Post-University                        8              2            100
               Total                                400            100
               Farmer                                 4              1              1
               Trader                               100             25             26
               Civil Servant                         40             10             36
Occupation     Social/Development Worker             52             13             49
               Unemployed                            60             15             64
               Others                               144             36            100
               Total                                400            100
               More than 10 People                   36              9              9
               6-9 People                           120             30             39
House Hold     3-5 People                           132             33             72
Size           Less than 3                           60             15             87
               Non-Response                          52             13            100
               Total                                400            100

Source: Field Data, August 2008


5.0    RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The results and discussion are presented in four parts. First part characterises the
environmental situation in Ghana. These are disaggregated to depict level of awareness and
perception of major environmental problems by inhabitants. In the second part, the



                                           15
environmental policies, programmes and projects, and the institutional framework and role of
major environmental stakeholders in Ghana are discussed. The third part presents the use of
environmental communication and awareness of environmental issues by inhabitants. The
final part discusses how communication is applied by environmental leadership to leverage
environmental performance in Ghana.



5.1    The State of Ghana’s Environment

Ghana has its own peculiar environmental problems. It is difficult to describe the state of the
environment in Ghana as result of the fragmentary nature of the information (Boon, 2008:
348). Ghana‟s environment is characterised by land degradation through improper agricultural
practices, deforestation, desertification, destructive mining activities, and coastal erosion,
rampant bush fires, rapid urbanisation in the face of inadequate infrastructural and social
facilities; and mounting domestic and industrial waste. Other environmental problems
according to Arimah (1995: 127) are proliferation of squatter settlements, overcrowded
dwellings, breaking down of waste disposal arrangements, air and water pollution, inadequate
water and power supply, and squalid conditions of environmental situations. Most of these
major environmental problems in developing countries are due to the pressures from within
and without to “catch up” with the developed world (Domfeh, 1997: 49).


5.1.1 Perception of Environmental Problems in Ghana

The results indicate major environmental problems in Ghana perceived by respondents.
Respondents ranked the problems according to their importance to them. As shown in table 3,
188 (47%) indicated air and water pollution as the major environmental problem. 172 (43%)
indicated inadequate power supply and drying of water bodies as the next major issues.
Followed by 168 (42%) for deforestation, 144 (36%) for inadequate water supply and 132
(33%) for desertification. Others are 124 (31%) for rampant bush fires and improper
agricultural practices causing land degradation and mounting domestic and industrial waste.
104 (26%) for destructive mining activities and 96 (24%) for disappearance of animal and
plant species. 92 (23%) for rapid urbanisation faced with inadequate infrastructure, 76 (19%)
for coastal erosion, 60 (15%) for proliferation of squatter settlements and last 52 (13%) for
loss of noonwood forest products.




                                              16
Table 3: Major Environmental Problems Perceived by Respondents
Number Environmental Problems in Ghana                                Frequency    Percentage
1          Air and water pollution                                          188         47
2          Inadequate power supply                                          172         43
3          Drying of water bodies                                           172         43
4          Deforestation                                                    168         42
5          Inadequate water supply                                          144         36
6          Desertification                                                  132         33
7          Rampant bush fires                                               124         31
8          Improper agriculture practices causing land degradation          124         31
9          Mounting domestic and industrial waste                           124         31
10         Destructive mining activities                                    104         26
11         Disappearance of animal and plant species                        96          24
12         Rapid urbanization faced with inadequate infrastructure          92          23
13         Coastal erosion                                                  76          19
14         Proliferation of squatter settlements                            60          15
15         Loss of nonwood forest products                                  52          13


Source: Field Data, August 2008


5.2    Environmental Policy and Implementing Institutions in Ghana

Ghana has several environmental policies which seek to improve living conditions and the
quality of life of the entire citizenry and to harmonize economic development with natural
resource conservation. Ghana also has some institutional framework put in place to guide
environmental policy making and legislation for the proper management of the country‟s
resources for achieving sustainable development. Attempts to address environmental
problems in Ghana was ad-hoc and cosmetic, or at best sector oriented and not so integrated,
and therefore limited in scope until the United Nations conference on Human Environment
(UNCHE) held in Stockholm in 1972 (Boon, 1998). That was the main stimulus for the
creation of environmental policy institutions in Ghana (Afful, 1997: 16).


The major drivers of environmental policy in Ghana are the government, international
organisations, and non governmental organisations (NGOs). The private sector organisations


                                                   17
until after the Rio Summit in 1992 had not been involved in the environmental debate. Figure
5 explains the various environmental policy and implementing institutions before and after the
Rio period.

5.2.1 Economic Recovery Programme (ERP)

The Government of Ghana in 1983 launched its Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) when
the economy was faced with stark reality of fast declining economy as a result of serious
environmental problems such as deforestation, soil degradation and industrial pollution, also
GDP fell at an average rate of 1.3% per year, and population grew rapidly (Anane, 2000: 5).
This programme of economic policy reforms, calculated to put Ghanaian economy on a
positive growth path, was given financial and technical support by the World Bank and IMF.


A key objective of the ERP was an improvement of Ghana‟s economic performance by
realizing agriculture, forestry, mining and the manufacturing industry. This in fact, led to
positive economic growth but a growth at a high environmental price: water and wind erosion,
soil compaction, surface soil crusting and loss of soil stability and fertility, not to mention the
indiscriminate use of fertilizers and pesticides. Whiles these unsustainable agricultural
practices had adverse effects on the environment, they also intensified the poor living
conditions of a majority of Ghanaians.


5.2.2 National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP)

In March 1988, the government of Ghana given the worsening of Ghana‟s environmental
problems constituted a group of experts and charged them with reviewing existing policies
related to environmental protection, and with proposing a strategy to address the key
institutional issues of deforestation, land management, forestry and wildlife, water
management, marine and coastal ecosystem, mining, manufacturing industries and hazardous
chemicals, human settlements, legal and instructional issues, environmental education and
environmental data system.


The Environmental Protection Council (EPC) which is the overall coordinating body for the
NEAP, with the district assemblies playing key roles adopted NEAP to provide the broad
framework for the implementation of the action plan and to ensure sound management of
resources over a ten year period, from 1991-2000. The role of the EPC in the implementation



                                                18
of the EAP has not changed after 2000. However, the focus of its operations, based on the
previsions of the national environmental policy and related policy orientations, has shifted
from emphasis on environmental protection to environmental resource management. The
NEAP endorses a preventive approach to environmental management and emphasizes a need
to promote socioeconomic development within the context of acceptable environmental
standards.


5.2.3 Ghana Environmental Resource Management Systems (GERMS)

Ghana Environmental Resource Management Systems (GERMS) was put in place in 1993 in
order to resolve the institutional issues. GERMS has been made of the implementation of the
EAP. The proposed system would ensure to ensure that there is no duplication of roles.
GERMS provided a framework for policy formulation, planning, monitoring, problem
solving, and implementation. Because most environmental concerns are intersectoral in nature
and decisions involve choices between alternatives and possibly conflicting courses of action
that carry costs and benefits, the management system should ensure that all possible options
are considered, as well as the technical, economic, financial, social, or political implications
of issues, by the various sectoral agencies involved to reflect national, district, or community
development priorities.

GERMS has been to create intersectoral linkages to bring together sectoral agencies and
communities whose activities impinge on the environment. There are four intersectoral
networks: built environment, natural resources, mining, and education. These networks will
be supported by specialists in the areas of environmental economics, environmental impact
assessment, environmental quality, and data management. The EPA therefore provides a
forum for detailed discussions of environmental issues prior to making recommendations to
government decision makers.

At the local level, district assemblies, which are the district planning authorities, together with
district environmental management committees will provide a firm basis for local
management of the environment. This is in line with the government's decentralization
programme, which allows district, municipal, and metropolitan assemblies to have a central
role in ensuring the protection and management of the environment.




                                                19
5.2.4 Forest and Wildlife Policy

In 1994 the Forest and wildlife Policy was put in place to comprehensively cover all aspects
of the forestry and wildlife conservation. It seeks compatibility between forest conservation
and increasing industrial demand of forest resources in order to ensure rural livelihoods on a
limited resource base, exhibiting the following specific activities: a) Conservation and good
management of forest and wild life resources in Ghana, b) Promotion of viable and efficient
forest-based industries, particularly in the secondary and tertiary process, c) raising people‟s
awareness to involve rural people in forest conservation and wildlife protection, d) facilitation
of research-based and technology-oriented management of forest and wildlife for their
utilization and development, and e) enhancement of capability of national, regional and
district agencies for sustainable forest and wildlife management.


5.2.5 Environment Sanitation Policy (ESP)

The Environmental Sanitation Policy was formulated in May 1999 under the authority of
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development with the aim of developing and
maintaining a clean, safe and pleasant physical environment in all human settlements, as well
as promoting the social, economic and physical well-being for all the people. The policy
includes the following principal components: a) collection and sanitary disposal of wastes
including solid waste, liquid waste, excreta, industrial waste, hospital waste and other
hazardous waste, b) drainage of storm water, c) street sweeping and cleansing of public
spaces including markets, d) pest control and vector control, e) education on environmental
sanitation, f) inspection and enforcement of sanitary regulations, g) burial of dead body, h)
domestic animal control, and i) monitoring the environmental quality with respect to the
environmental standards.


5.2.6 Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA)

Strategic environmental Assessment stems from both intrinsic limitations related to the
application of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and from the finding that SEA can
support decision making targeted towards the attainment of sustainable development (Hens,
1997). Ghana in the last 30 years has been making attempts to mainstream environment in
national development agenda. A pilot activity was undertaken to apply the use of Strategic
Environmental Assessment (SEA) to Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).



                                               20
SEA is a tool that offers oopportunities for mainstreaming environment and sustainability into
a country‟s development agenda to achieve sustainable growth. It was thus applied in Ghana
to the GPRS, which is the Country‟s main development agenda. It is also used for assessing
the impact of Policies, Plans and Programmes, to ensure there are more environmentally
sustainable.

A key aim was to achieve greater integration between national policy goals and practical
delivery of sustainable development on the ground. This was to ensure a balance between the
three pillars of sustainable growth i.e. social, economic and environment. The SEA was
carried out simultaneously at the three levels national regional and district (Ministries
Departments and Agencies, 10 regions and 110 districts through “learning-by-doing.

The lessons and experiences gained from the pilot is being incorporated into the new version
of Ghana‟s Poverty Reduction Strategy (2006-2009) The National Development Planning
Commission (NDPC) is being supported by a sub-committee on environment, to ensure that
SEA policy recommendations are incorporated into the GPRS II. The SEA principles have
been infused into the NDPC planning process and Ministry of Finance and Economic
Planning financial guidelines for the preparation of Medium Term Development Plans at
National, Regional and District levels.


5.3    Environmental Implementing Institutions in Ghana

Some of the environmental implementation institutions in Ghana and their functions are
explained in Figure 4.




                                             21
      Figure 4: Environmental Policy and Implementing Institutions

          National                  Ministry of Environment,          National Commission
          Development               Science and Technology            for the Implementation
          Planning                  (MEST)                            of Agenda 21 (NACIA)
          Commission




                         Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)




Research institutions including:                               District Assemblies (DAs)
   - Council for Scientific and
       Industrial Research
   - Ghana Standards Board
   - Meteorological Service Dept.
       Sdshjhhjhgqhsghgs
   - Geological Services Dept.                District               Community             Regional
   - Remote Sensing Centre                    Environmental          Environmental         Environmental
   - Department of Epidemiology               Managment              Committe              Office
       and Hygiene                            Commitee
   - Etc.                                     (DEMC)
   -

      Source: Adapted from Hens and Boon. (1998: 344)

      5.3.1 Roles of Key Stakeholders

      5.3.1.1 The Role of the Government of Ghana

      The Government of Ghana does not only formulate environmental laws, legislation or policies
      but also transform them into programmes and projects which are implemented mostly
      partnership and collaboration with private enterprises and NGOs with financial assistance
      from World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Union (EU), DANIDA,
      UNDP, GTZ etc.


      5.3.1.2 Awareness of Environmental Projects and Programmes

      In investigating the level of awareness of environmental programmes and projects,
      respondents were asked whether they know of any environmental project or programme in




                                                   22
their community. As indicated by Figure 5, 208 (52%) responded yes whiles 192 (48%) have
no knowledge of the existence of such programme or project.



Figure 5: Respondents Awareness of Environmental Projects and Programmes




       NO
      48%                                                           YES
                                                        YES         NO
                                                        52%




Source: Field Data, August 2008


Though quite a number of environmental projects and programmes are embarked upon by the
government, NGOs and other stakeholders, the results as shown in Figure 5, shows that only
208 (52%) of the inhabitants are aware of environmental project or programme. Only 44% of
the 208 people ever participated in environmental activities but 60% of these people could not
say which activities they took part in, may be because it was an open ended question. These
environmental activities mentioned included mostly cleaning and weeding exercises organised
by churches, schools, NGOs, fun clubs, market associations etc. Others include tree and
flower planting exercise, green grass growing and „Zoom lion‟ environmental programmes in
the market places.


These shocking results indicate that environmental communication is not adequately applied
by environmental leaderships of Ghana. People are not well informed about environmental
projects and programmes put in place to maintain environmental standards hence their
inability to participate in them. The lack of adequate application environmental
communication is confirmed by the analysis of the manifestoes of the political parties and
from the information communicated to the populace during the 2008 electioneering campaign
by leadership of the political parties in Ghana. Except the Convention Peoples Party (CPP),
and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) most of the political parties did not have a
definitive, clear cut polices on environment but rather concentrated much on the economy,
employment, education and health.



                                             23
5.3.2 The Role of Environmentalists and Civil Society Organizations

The efforts of environmentalists in Ghana, Africa and the world to put brakes on modern development
and to protect the environment is often told as a struggle between economy on the one hand and
ecology on the other. NGOs, both local and international, play a vital role in the shaping and
implementation of participatory democracy. The growing strength and power of civil societies
including the environmental organisations was evident at the World Summit on Sustainable
Development, which took place in South Africa in 2002. Civil society groups made up the largest
proportion of the more than 20,000 registered delegates attending the summit with a representation
from all corners of the world (CRES, 2002: 1).


Their credibility lies in the responsible, constructive and independent role they play in society.
Formal and informal organizations, as well as grass-roots movements should be recognized as
partners in the management of the environment. The nature of the independent role played by
NGOs within a society calls for real participation. Civil society groups possess well-
established and diverse experience, expertise and capacity in fields which are of particular
importance to the implementation and review of environmentally sound and socially
responsible sustainable development. This potential community of civil societies offers a
global network that should be tapped for the conservation of biodiversity in national parks.

5.3.3 The Role of Local Authorities

Local authorities have also enabled and strengthened support of efforts to achieve these
common goals. The participation and cooperation of local authorities is a determining factor
in achieving the objectives of environmental management. Local authorities construct, operate
and maintain economic, social and environmental infrastructure, oversee planning processes,
establish local environmental policies and regulations and assist in implementing national and
sub national environmental policies. As the level of governance closest to the people, they
play a vital role in educating, mobilizing and responding to the public to promote sustainable
development.


5.4    Environmental Communication and Awareness

It is assumed that if environmental communication is effective, the level of awareness on
environmental issues will be high and the inhabitants will have a positive perception towards
environmental conservation and management. This will help shape their life style to a more
environmental- friendly oriented direction and consequently the environmental quality can be


                                                 24
improved through a participatory approach. To investigate the level of environmental
awareness and communication with the inhabitants, the study designed a questionnaire to
assess how often they assess environmental information, the medium that are used (see Figure
6), if targets of environmental communication by environmental leadership are met and
whether respondents will want more information on environment or not.



Figure 6: Distribution of Respondents Access to Environmental Information

               250

               200
                                                                                                Never
   Frequency




               150
                                                                                                Yearly
                                                                                                Monthly
               100
                                                                                                At least a Week
               50

                0
                                         rs




                                                              o


                                                                       TV
                                  s




                                                                                            s
                                                   s
                        s




                                                                              ily
                                er




                                                           di




                                                                                         ol
                                                ok
                     er




                                         pe




                                                                              m
                                                        Ra
                              ld




                                                                                      ho
                  st




                                              Bo
                                       pa




                                                                            Fa
                            Fo
                Po




                                                                                    Sc
                                    ws
                                 Ne




                                                       Sources


Source: Field Data, August 2008


Except through family that had 50% of the people getting environmental information once a
week, with 39% assessing from television and 32% assessing from newspapers once a week,
the others such as folders (13.75%), posters (13%) and reading of books (17%) had relatively
low figures. This calls for the intensive use of television and radio as the medium of
communication. Other medium of communication such as the use of folders, posters must also
be enhanced. Environmental programmes in the formal and informal educational system of
Ghana must be intensified.


However, when respondents were asked whether they like to get more information on the
environment, 376 (94%) responded yes whiles 24 (6%) responded do not like to get more
information on the environment (see Figure 7). This gives clear indication if environmental
communication is intensified by environmental leadership it can lead to improvement in
environmental quality and standards.



                                                                  25
Figure 7: Respondents who like to get more Environmental Information


                           6%



                                                                    YES
                                                                    NO



                                     94%




Source: Field Work, August 2008


5.5    Environmental Programme Listen to on Radio by Respondents

To assess the level of interest of environmental issues by inhabitants and also find out the
efficiency of the radio stations in contributing to environmental communication in Ghana,
respondents were asked whether they have favourite environmental programmes they listen to
on radio. The results were also shocking. Of the 400 respondents 312 (78%) did not have any
favourite environmental programme whereas only 88 (22%) have. The reasons are either that
the radio stations do not have good programmes on environmental issues or the inhabitants
simply do not have interest in environmental issues. It was observed that most of the
programmes are centered mostly on politics, finance or the economy and not on the
environment. However, it was clear that environmental programmes in the local languages are
the most listened to.


5.6    Are the Target of Environmental Communication Met?

To investigate if the targets of environmental communication by environmental leadership are
met, questions were asked on issues concerning waste and water. As regards issues on water,
out of the 400 respondents, the total respondents with correct answers for section on water are
(325) approximately 81.13%. This implies that inhabitants are aware of environmental issues
concerning water. 380 (95%) knew that proper drinking water is a right and not a privilege.
368 (92%) responded that they know it is not sustainable to leave tap with water dripping still,
360 (90%) do not leave the tap open whiles brushing their teeth and 340 (85%) know that it is
wrong to use only tap water to water their garden. Also, 308 (77%) responded that their pipes
do not leak all the time, 272 (68%) do not like to waste water where as 248 (62%) carry water
in their cap to rinse their month.




                                              26
Regarding issues concerning waste, respondents were asked which measures concerning
waste management they support. Of the 400 respondents, the total respondents with correct
answers for section on waste are (292) approximately 72.88%. 372 (93%) support collection
and recycle of waste, 364 (91%) responded do not support increase in waste production. 324
(81%) support sorting out of waste and 320 (80%) support re-use of waste paper.
Furthermore, 304 (76%) do not support the idea that pets should be allowed to excrete around,
280 (70%) support the idea of rearing goat or fowls that feed on waste food. 232 (58%) do not
support dumping of waste in the garden and just 136 (34%) do not support buying of package
food (take away).


The overall percentage shows that the inhabitants are aware of the basic environmental issues.
But, not necessarily living in an environmental-friendly manner. The messages are being
perceived positively by the inhabitants in this study area because the level of education of the
people living in the study area are high and they also have assess to radio, TV and other
means of communication. From the above information, it is evident that although
environmental communication is not adequate but the relatively low level of environmental
communications are achieving some results. This calls for intensification of environmental
communication to create an ideal environmental feeling in people. It must however be
emphasise that the results can not be generalised to imply that all of the people of Ghana are
aware of environmental issues since majority of the populace are illiterate and do not have
assess to most media of communication as compared to the those from the study area. This
means that the use of local authorities, District Assemblies and Committees must be used to
intensify environmental communication in the rural areas of Ghana, it is only when these are
done effectively then environmental performance can be leveraged throughout Ghana.

6.0    KEY CHALLENGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

6.1    Environmental Leadership and Communication Challenges


6.1.1 Environmental Leadership and Institutional Incapacity

The inappropriateness of human and institutional capacity of relevant government agencies,
NGOs and financial agencies has tremendously affected the management of the environment
in Ghana. While some developing countries have the basic staffs for EPA, government and
public support, constraints such as poor remuneration, unsatisfactory living and working


                                              27
conditions in the field negatively affect the management of environment. There is a decline in
Government of Ghana funding to the environment sector in recent years from 10% in 2003 to
8.5% in 2006 whiles the social sector has enjoyed comparative higher funding from 39% to
45% within the same period (Nelson, 2007: 20).



For efficient management of the environment in Ghana, transformational and democratic
leaders are needed not only to steer the efficient implementation of environmental policies,
programmes and projects but to ensure also, adequate implementation and attainment of
ratified conventions and environmental agreements of which Ghana has consented.

6.1.2 Inadequate Participation of Local Communities in Decision Making

The potential of leveraging environmental performance in Ghana and other developing
countries has been affected negatively by the inadequate representation and integration of
neighbouring local communities in decision making. Often, most environmental projects and
programmes in developing countries and Ghana are implemented with little or no regard to
local or/and traditional communities whose interest those projects and programmes are being
implemented. The locals are often seen as mere followers of would - be - leaders. This neglect
negatively affects the impacts and channel of communication and endangers any community
attachment or dedication to improving environmental standards, hence rendering the project
partially implemented or not implemented at all in most cases. Most environmental leadership
in Ghana do not apply effective communication in the management of environment in Ghana
and these results in the lack public participation and consequently the relevant enabling
environment for their effective collaborative management is largely absent.


When local people and communities are fully educated, informed, made aware and involved
in the protection and maintenance of environmental quality and standards, they will carry
them out in a more sustainable way. Whilst, when a community‟s legitimacy as an authority
has been usurped by the state and other authorities, community environmental projects and
programmes become no one‟s property, hence the problems of open access can occur
including cross border resource-use conflicts.




                                                 28
6.1.3 Rapid Population Growth and Unemployment

Much of the Ghana's population livelihood is closely dependent on, or not far removed from,
the natural resource base and the variety of goods and services that healthy and productive
ecosystems can provide. Farming is the principal livelihood of most of these people while in
low-income countries; it is a major engine of economic development (Pinstrup-Andersen, et
al., 1997). Unemployment and lack of livelihood alternatives coupled with inadequate human
capital development on the other hand, stimulates social unrest, illegal logging, poaching and
mining, human migration, ethnic tension and land tenure conflicts, frequently near protected
lands. Illegal logging of timber for instance, has a lucrative source of employment and income
but most often for the purchase of arms.


This activity foments civil conflict and erodes the rule of law and good governance. At the
same time, infrastructure for education, communication and commerce is limited and
inadequately maintained. There is a widespread lack of institutional capacity to contain and
manage growing human and animal populations within government agencies, NGOs and
communities. The findings of this paper prove that environmental communication, awareness
and literacy that are needed to leverage environmental performance and standards are
relatively low.

6.1.4 Inadequate Environmental Communication and Education

The potential of leveraging environmental performance in Ghana and other developing
countries has been affected negatively by the inadequate environmental communication and
education. Environmental education and awareness is one of the major tools used by the
Government. For the formal education, Ministry of Education, in collaboration with
Environmental Protection Council, incorporated the environmental themes into relevant
subjects such as social studies, general science, agricultural science, life skill, vocational skill,
etc. as a part of Education Reform Programme but most of these themes lack current and
relevant environmental concerns. Also, the education for teachers and parents of
environmental issues is inadequate. For the non-formal education, Non-formal Education
Division (NFED) of the Ministry of Education is promoting it. Locally, Environmental
Management Committees of the District Assemblies is in charge of enhancing people‟s
awareness on the environmental management (EPA, 2004: 14). But due to funding and other




                                                 29
logistical incapacity the NFED and District Assemblies activities are not achieving the needed
results.

From the field survey, it is also observed that the print and electronic media do not have clear
programmes and columns that are targeted at communicating environmental issues to the
people of Ghana. Most of their programmes and publications are more focused on economics,
politics, sports, entertainment, education, health with very little on the environment.

6.2        Strategies for Improving Environmental Leadership and Communication

6.2.1 Strengthening Environmental Leadership, Institutional and Human Capacity
Building the capacity of EPA, NGO and other MDAs workers should be of priority in
environmental management. To enhance effective environmental management, it is essential
that the knowledge of environmental stakeholder is improved. In Ghana for instance,
institutional capacity of MDAs need urgent strengthening which will help reinforce the
interpersonal skills of MDAs managers and workers in community involvement techniques,
negotiation, conflict resolution as well as in the use appropriate information technology. As
such, adequate political clout and will with regard to environmental management as a national
priority area need emphasis.


In terms of research and management capacity, Ghana lacks reliable, skilled and adequate
environmental leadership: botanists, wildlife ecologists, environmental educators, protected-
area managers and law enforcement officials. Ghana should provide adequate financial and
technical support both locally, regionally and internationally for adequate research, proper
regulation and management of the environment demand urgent facilitation. Efforts to link
professionals through networks of scientists, academics and resource managers should be
enhanced. Workers tasked with environmental management in Ghana should be taught to
assume leadership and managerial roles to enable them to take effective initiatives to
promoting and maintaining sustainable development in Ghana. Private sector organisations
with good environmental leadership should also be encouraged to invest in the environment as
corporate social responsibilities.

6.2.2 Promote Collaborative and Participatory Environmental Management

Most developing countries including Ghana fail to embrace the democratic style of leadership
and governance in the management of the environment. In a world where the usefulness and

                                               30
relevance of participatory approaches to natural resource management are increasingly
accepted and recognized, it is important that our environmental leaders apply effective
communication and the principles of local community participation in the management of
environment in Ghana. The environmental leaders should be people who have
transformational leadership skills and can bring about effective change with less or no
resource - use or management conflicts. This will help to create the relevant enabling
environment for effective communication and management of environment in Ghana and
other developing countries.


Leveraging environmental performance and standards can no longer be the sole responsibility
of the state or government, but should incorporate local NGOs and community‟s voice in
decision making. The participation of local populations must entail more than periodic
consultation and become a process of democratic participation in environmental management.
Since the EPA and a number of MDAs authorities in Ghana lack the institutional and financial
resources to ensure effective management of the environment, it is recommended they enter
into long-term partnerships built on strong networks or concession contracts with private
partners both locally and internationally to collaboratively manage the environment.

6.2.3 Effective Management of Population and Unemployment

New approaches are being developed to provide financial incentives for farmers and other
land owners to manage their resources in ways that enhance ecosystem services and
biodiversity. These include special tax incentive and direct payments to farmers and
communities for keeping land out of production or for practicing eco-agriculture. Several
hundred systems are already underway around the world for upland watershed management,
biodiversity conservation, carbon emission offsets, and landscape beauty (Landell-Mills and
Porras, 2002). To curb unemployment, environmental management policies need to recognise
traditional and local community‟s needs especially issues concerning local communities‟
rights, management opportunities and responsibilities.

6.2.4   Promote Environmental Communication and Education

Environmental education and awareness is one of the major tools that must be applied if
environmental standards can be leveraged in Ghana. For the formal education, Ministry of
Education, in collaboration with Environmental Protection Council, should incorporated
relevant and appropriate environmental themes into subjects such as social studies, general


                                             31
science, agricultural science, life skill, vocational skill, etc. as a part of Education Reform
Programme. Also, the education for teachers and parents on environmental issues must be
intensified since they are the major medium of environmental communication (see Figure 6).
Further the curriculum and textbooks must be constantly reviewed and developed to
communicate current information. For the non-formal education, Non-formal Education
Division (NFED) of the Ministry of Education must intensify its promotion. Locally,
Environmental Management Committees of the District Assemblies who are in charge of
enhancing people‟s awareness on the environmental management (EPA, 2004: 14) must be
capacitated to efficiently implement their duties.


Also the print and electronic media must have clear programmes and columns in their
medium that is focused on environmental issues. Scholarships and rewarding programmes
such as essays on environmental related topics should be encouraged in order to attract the
children and youth of Ghana to be more interested in environmental issues which will make
them more informed about environment issues and thereby collaborate in achieving the
objective of improving environmental quality and standards in Ghana.


7.0    CONCLUSION

The result of the study is confronted by a number of challenges that need collective efforts by
the stakeholders and further study. Given the availability of a more effective participatory
approach, the environmental performance will be much more improved. Generally, the study
has found sufficient evidence on the positive influence of effective communication by
environmental leadership in leveraging environmental performance in Ghana. Effective
communication together with other instruments can be the way to leverage environmental
performance and standards in Ghana. However, the incapacity of political leaders to show a
strong zeal towards the management of environmental problems together with inadequate
partnership and collaboration between government, stakeholders and all segments of society
in Ghana make a 100% attainment of this goal a bit difficult.

To leverage environmental performance and standards in Ghana, there is a need to expand
opportunities for the other stakeholders. That is, the community groups, local and
international NGOs, private firms, research institutions can play a key in developing and
implementing an environmental policies, programmes and projects. NGOs can play an
important role in monitoring the performance of government agencies and disseminating


                                               32
information. Finally, effective communication with community groups/local people who are
in unique position to identify the most important local problems and propose ways of
addressing them is the best way of leveraging environmental performance in Ghana.

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                                             33
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Isaac Kwasi Egyir is currently perusing an Advance Master of Human Ecology at Vrije
Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium. He is also a staff of the Accra-based International
Centre for Enterprise and Sustainable Development (ICED) - a centre of excellence for action
research and capacity building in Sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Egyir holds a Master degree in
Human Ecology from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium and Bsc. in
Administration from the University of Ghana Business School, Ghana.




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