The policy also sets up the framework for the development of emission standards and guideline for testing and monitoring of emissions based on generic emission targets that take into consideration fuel-efficiency and clean combustion and modem technology.
5. Buffer Zone Policy
The Ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Environment, Science and Technology are jointly submitting for Cabinet approval, a riparian Buffer Zone Policy for managing freshwater bodies in Ghana.
Buffer zones provide natural services such as improving water quality by trapping sediment and chemicals from run- off before reaching water bodies; moderates flooding, help recharge groundwater and prevent soil erosion; creates shade which lower temperatures and hence improve habitat for aquatic organisms; and provides food, nesting cover and shelter for wildlife.
Buffer zones also provide valuable socio-economic services including creation of jobs in the planting and maintenance of economic trees; provision of valuable timber and income from non- timber forest products such as forage and fruits; provision of indigenous multi- species of plants traditionally harvested for medicine and material for building; conserving natural scenic areas of recreational value, cropping, and ecotourism; provision of potable water supply for local communities; and support fish pollutions for many fishing communities.
In order to begin realizing these identified valuable and other potential services from the establishment of buffer
zones, and to curb the discriminate dumping and the development of infrastructure in waterways, the policy harmonizes all traditional and existing public institutional standards on buffers bordering water bodies or river systems. The policy also focuses on providing measures that would guide the co- ordinated creation of vegetative buffers for the preservation and functioning of our water bodies and vital ecosystems.
b. Industrial Effluent Discharge Quality
The draft National Environment Quality Guidelines provide basis for prescribed limits, for industrial effluent discharge quality for specific industrial sectors including food and beverage, textile, paint and chemicals, metals and others. While the Ministry continue with broad consultations on the draft regulations prior to sending it to Parliament to pass the National Environmental Quality Guidelines into law (regulations), industries are required to ensure that wastewater discharges from their operations meet the permissible limits of the EPA Nation Environmental Quality Guidelines (NEQGs), which when passed into law would include pollution charges mandated under section 28, Act 490.
Such pollution charges would provide the needed cost/benefit required for decision-making and also drives voluntary pollution reduction programmes using cleaner production approaches particularly in the industrial sector.
MIEST through EPA has systematically initiated compliance promotion and regulatory actions that integrate environmental concerns, promotion, development aspirations. Some of the measures adopted by the EPA include:
The establishment of a sub-regional Cleaner Production Center, a center of excellence, located at Tema, to enhance the country's capacity to assist industries,