THE German Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Eberhard Schanze, has stressed the need for Ghana to adopt proactive measures to tackle the anticipated pollution and other environmental hazards that would arise in the oil and gas industry.
He cautioned that any attempt to place so much emphasis on oil revenue and neglect its accompanying environmental risks could spell doom for the nation.
Mr Schanze was speaking at the opening of a three-day international conference on the management of oil and gas resources and the environment at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
The Technical University of Mines of Freiberg, Germany, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the KNUST School of Business organised the conference.
It had the theme: “Environmental disasters of oil and gas exploitation: Lessons from the Gulf of Mexico.”
Mr Schanze also stressed that Ghana should not neglect other productive sectors of the economy like timber and agriculture in the midst of the oil wealth.
He indicated that the nation would see improved development if resources from all the sectors were well managed.
Mr Schanze gave the assurance that Germany would support Ghana to enable it achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He stated that Ghana had great potential to develop and, therefore, urged the government, parliament and everyone to play their roles in getting the best for the country.
The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Jonathan Allotey, said every effort should be made to ensure that the oil and gas industry did not have any adverse impact on the environment.
Mr Allotey stressed the need for the nation to develop a petroleum development master plan that would direct the future development of the various sectors of the industry.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Peter Donkor, mentioned the fruitful relationship between Ghana and Germany over the years and said this had been the result of mutual respect and noted that trade between the two countries continued to rise, which was underpinned by good relationship.
Prof. Donkor said the KNUST was appreciative of the immense support Germany had provided in the training of Ghanaian doctors.
He said 42 doctors and lecturers currently at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital had been trained in Germany.