The Council has already been granted an institutional accreditation to establish a College of Science and Technology (CCST) to run various science and research programmes at the graduate levels.

Dr. Victor Kwame Agyeman, Director General of CSIR, announced this at the maiden graduation ceremony of its Master’s Degree Programme in Bio-Economy and Natural Resources Management (ECORES) at Fumesua, near Kumasi. The ECORES programme is an academic collaboration between the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) and has been so designed to equip students with specialized knowledge in natural resources and management skills to lead the efficient management of natural resources in the West African sub-region.

The first batch of eight (8) students were each awarded two masters’ degrees -executive Masters in Business Administration (eMBA) and Master of Science (MSc) in Natural Resources management. Dr. Agyeman said five out of the eight proposed to be run by CCST, had received approval by the National Accreditation Board (NAB) and would commence in September 2016. These include “MPhil Climate and Natural Resources Management”, “MSc Climate Change and Natural Resources Management”, “MPhil Fisheries Science”, “MPhil Aquaculture” and “MPhil Industrial Animal Nutrition and Feed Production”. He reminded the graduates to use the knowledge and skills acquired to aid radical transformation of natural resources management in the sub-region.

Professor Jukka Jurvelin, Dean of the UEF Faculty of Science and Forestry, said experts were increasingly needed to meet the challenges related to the environmental impact of land use and biodiversity decline. He said the ECORES programme was an opportunity to train new experts to take responsible actions to protect the natural resources.

Prof Joseph Cobbinah, Chairman of UEF-FORIG Graduate School, said lack of broad-based expertise was a major barrier to sustainable management of natural resources. He said the ECORES, based on the European Credits Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTs) for Higher Education, was a shift from the traditional MBA and MSc/MPhil programmes and designed specifically to blend business management and natural resources management.

Prof Cobbinah, who is also the President of CCST, said the College stood to benefit tremendously from the experience of the UEF-FORIG programme.

Dr. Daniel Ofori, Director of FORIG, said the ECORES programme symbolized the success story of international academic collaboration and praised the graduating students for their hard work.

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