February 25, 2015
Dean Slocum and our team of Ghanaian experts* presented Acorn International’s Independent Study of Marine Environmental Conditions at an official launch ceremony in Ghana on February 25. The launch was hosted by the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency, and Ghana’s Minister of Fisheries was on hand to emphasize the importance of the Acorn International study and to encourage cooperative work among all parties to implement recommendations from the report. In attendance were traditional chiefs and a member of parliament from Ghana’s Western Region, NGOs, oil industry representatives, government officials, marine experts, and the press. A copy of the presentation can be found here, and the full report can be found here.
The study was performed by an independent, joint US-Ghanaian team led by Acorn International — it was carried out in coordination with Ghana EPA and sponsored by Kosmos Energy, of Dallas, TX. The study team began in June 2014, and evaluated the extent to which high profile and contentious public concerns about marine environmental conditions may be the result of oil and gas operations offshore Ghana. The study included interviews with >100 stakeholders and evaluation of >200 studies, plus a series of local workshops to test findings and invite feedback. Ghana’s Minister of Fisheries and Chief Director of the Ministry of Environment stressed the value of this study to Ghanaian decision-making regarding activities of the oil and fishing industries, and called for all parties to work together to implement the report recommendations.
Acorn International’s work in Ghana includes an environmental governance study for the Ministry of Environment, a Social Performance Assessment for an international oil and gas company, and the training of local environmental and social practicioners in applying the International Finance Corporation Performance Standards for Environmental and Social Sustainability to industrial developments in Ghana. The consultancy is performing similar work for industry, governments, and investors throughout West Africa and worldwide.
*Acorn International’s Andrew Buchman and Alexis Peterson, as well as independent consultant Joseph Ronzio, were important contributors to this study.