The Potential of Biodiversity Utilization and Sustainable Development in Ghana
Asiamah, Joshua Yeboah
Obeng Apori, Samuel
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The search for sustainable economic growth and development in Ghana commenced in 1957 when the country gained independence. After the first president, Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966, the nation witnessed a significant setback in terms of development which affected all aspects of the society including utilization of biodiversity and its sustainable development. Sustainable development is a kind of development that helps to meet the present’s needs without preventing the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The biodiversity in Ghana is very rich. It plays a significant role in ecosystem services and functions by providing food materials, medicine and industrial raw materials. This paper seeks to review the potential utilization of Ghana’s biodiversity and its sustainable development. In this paper, a broad literature search was conducted to identify relevant articles that correspond to the main topic. The results indicate that Ghana has rich biodiversity and it is the potential heritage and valuable asset for the country’s ecological integrity and economic reformation, if only it is managed properly. The country’s biodiversity also underpins ecosystem resilience which plays a critical role by reducing disaster risks and peace-building strategies. It was found that the forests, wetlands and mangroves which form part of the biodiversity help to reduce the impact of floods, drought and tsunamis. For successful sustainable development of Ghana’s biodiversity, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should collaborate with main stakeholder agencies that are more concerned about biodiversity. In other to achieve sustainable utilization, resourcing research institutions and universities to join the regional tray of biotechnology studies should be of great interest to the government and policymakers.