Rt Hon. Edward Korbly Doe Adjaho

Keynote speech

As delivered by the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana the Right Honourable Edward Doe Adjaho at the 1st GLOBE Natural Capital Summit



Mr. Chairman, President of GLOBE International,
Honourable Ministers of State,
Honourable Members of Parliament,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me much pleasure to have been invited to be part of this history making summit. I am particularly delighted to have been given the opportunity to make some remarks, especially, having regard to the rather late confirmation of my participation. I am, indeed, grateful for this honour done me and my delegation.

It has always been my long-held view that as representatives of the people we should not only work for today neither should we only work for the current generation but we should also work for future generations. therefore, working to protect and responsibly exploit and account for whatever natural resources we inherited to the next generation fit into the cause that I have championed throughout the over twenty years of my working life in Parliament.

Really, there couldn't have been a much better moment than this to hold such a summit. In the wake of the systematic degradation of the ecosystem and its attendant effects increasing more rapidly now than any period in the history of humanity, there is no gainsaying the fact that this is the right moment to curb our negative practices which have become the causative factors of the environmental havoc that continue to befall us on the planet. The wanton degradation of our forest belt, the uncontrolled emission of hazardous green house gases and their effects on climate change and related problems are just a few to mention. Today, in Ghana, our forest cover has drastically reduced; some rivers that we saw as children are gone whilst those that remain are being polluted on a daily basis in the search of gold, diamonds and other resources. The discovery of oil in commercial quantities offshore has its own challenges. Indeed, some of the state institutions seem to have failed in discharging their constitutional and statutory responsibilities in protecting our environment.

It is in this regard that my delegation and I are glad to be part of this summit. We are aware of the various conferences which were held in the past years and their outcomes that have been implemented which, unfortunately, have not yet really had sufficient impact on our activities, thus, resulting in the increasing environmental problems that we face these days. Our quest to achieve quick economic development seems to have blindfolded us to the non-sustainable use of our natural resources.

The GLOBE International's initiatives that seek to bring the world together to set standards and thereafter, through the direct representatives of the people, make workable laws to integrate those standards into local laws for the collective benefit of humanity in general can only be laudable. The WAVE concept, especially, presents one unique measure of positively challenging individual countries to count the cost of their environmental activities as it provides some quick indicators to point out any unsustainable use of our scarce natural resources.

In the light of this, we in the Parliament of Ghana will work to create a local chapter of GLOBE International to effectively link up with the network of member-countries for purposes of cross-fertilisation of ideas and to benefit from best practices that could enable us effectively play our role in finding solutions to the global environmental problems which we are having to grapple with. This week, on 5th June 2013, in commemoration of the World Environment Day, the statements made on the floor of Parliament fully support the ideals for which GLOBE International was formed. We will continue to work assiduously to pass the requisite legislations to promote the noble cause of your most esteemed association. On this basis, I will implore the advanced countries and major international establishments to do more than ever in the form of lending technical and other logistical support to the less fortunate countries and institutions to help accelerate the realisation of the said ideals.

Before I conclude, I would like to specially thank Honourable David McGuinty, MP and President of GLOBE Canada who was in Ghana to encourage us to send a representation to this summit.

Mr. Chairman, the President of GLOBE International, Honourable Ministers of State, Honourable Members of Parliament, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my expectation that this summit would not turn out to be yet another talk shop but we would all work to promote and protect our world for posterity.

I thank you for the audience.