Single policy for coastal management needed — Prof. Aheto
The Director of the Centre for Coastal Management of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Professor Denis Aheto, has called for a coastal management policy to address the activities of the blue economy in the country in a concerted way.
He said there must be a legal coherent policy framework that would regulate the economic activities in the coastal areas.
In an interview after the launch of activities to mark the 10th anniversary of the centre, Prof. Aheto said it was bad that there was no such policy for the country.
The centre, which is now an Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience (ACECOR), was approved by the UCC Academic Board and placed under the School of Biological Sciences in 2013 to conduct applied research, to run professional courses and to engage in extension work in coastal communities.
It now partners the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), DANIDA, the European Union and the Association of African universities.
Prof. Aheto said policies governing coastal management and related activities currently were hedged in various institutional frameworks.
He said these must come together in one policy document to ensure a uniformed policy to address the problems in a concerted way and fed into a process for effective coastal management.
He said there must be one policy that looked at the various facets of the blue economy, not only the fisheries but salt production, mining and energy as well.
He noted that the effect of climate change on the coastal communities had been exacerbated by wrongful activities, including sea sand winning.
Earlier at the launch, Prof. Aheto indicated that the centre had attracted millions of dollars in grants to implement projects across the continent.
Currently, he said, the centre had about 30 partnerships with major national and international organisations to ensure enhanced coastal management research and activities.
He said the centre had also trained 343 students, 41 of them doctoral students and 77 masters students, from across 15 African countries, and had to its credit about 85 publications.
He said together with the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of the UCC, the centre envisioned to establish an ocean institute for the university in the next 10 years.
He commended the university management, both past and present, for its support, and appealed for funding to ensure that projects were brought to fruition.
The Vice-Chancellor of the UCC, Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong, commended the centre for its vision and excellence in seeking collaborations for research and contributing to foster sustainable coastal development.