‘We need collective efforts to preserve the environment’ – Minister
World Environment Day Celebration in Kyebi
This year’s World Environment Day has been observed with a call on all stakeholders to collectively protect the lands, forest and water bodies from further destruction.
The Minister of Science, Environment, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong- Boateng, who delivered the keynote address at a durbar in Kyebi in the East Akim Municipality in the Eastern Region, said the fight against negative environmental practices required the collaboration of all Ghanaians towards an integrated approach to natural resource management.
He said it was time for the nation to act collectively to curb the environmental degradation and water pollution so that posterity would not blame the current generation for negligence.
He said humans would not survive without the environment and, therefore, encouraged the citizenry to treasure nature by protecting and preserving it.
The World Environment Day is marked June 5 every year across the globe by member countries of the United Nations, to create awareness on various environmental issues ranging from marine pollution, climate change, to sustainable consumption, protection of wildlife and the management of hazardous waste, among other environmental challenges that are threatening human existence.
The global theme for this year’s celebration is: “Connecting People to Nature in the City and on the Land, From the Poles to the Equator.”
Ghana adopted as its national theme:” Connecting People to Nature from Cape Three Point to Bawku,” with the slogan “Connect to Nature.”
Prof Frimpong-Boateng noted that Kyebi was the home of political heavyweights in the country and mighty personalities like Dr J.B Danquah, Ofori Atta and the current President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and, therefore, urged the inhabitants not to allow migrants to destroy the Atewa Forest Reserve, which abound in biodiversity with rear species like primates, plants, butterflies, flora and fauna.
In addition, the forest reserve host major rivers like Birim, Densu, Ayensu and others that served as sources of water for treatment to more than five million people in the area.
The Minister charged the people to ensure that the water bodies had been restored to their original state.
“I want to see Birim, Densu and Ayensu like how they use to be clean and pure in the 1970s where you could see the bottom of the river with rocks while mud fish swim in them, “he said.
He called for the restoration of the degraded lands and forest through massive afforestation programme.
“The time has come for us to appreciate nature. As a country, we have always demonstrated strong and constant connection with nature in our socio-cultural activities.
“But through our activities, we have exhibited gross disrespect for nature, “he noted.
The Minister said the absence of these essential ingredients of life such as water, forest, mountain, flora and fauna, mankind ceased to exist as humans, adding: “When the last plant dies, the last man will die.”
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said the natural resources had high potential for ecotourism promotion, which would create employment and generate revenue for the nation.
Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour, the Regional Minister, called for a collective sense of responsibility and efforts to redeem the degraded natural resources and protect the undestroyed ones for sustainable development.
He expressed appreciation to the planning committee for selecting Kyebi for the national celebration and assured that the Regional Co-ordinating Council would work and collaborate with all relevant stakeholders in reversing the negative trend and restore sanity in the Region.
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panin, Okyehene, who chaired the function, had dedicated many years of his life advocating the preservation of the environment.
The event attracted people from all walks of life including traditional rulers, assembly members, representatives of civil society organisations interested in environmental sustainability and youth groups.
As part of efforts to preserve the environment, the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has developed a five-year multi plan to deal with illegal mining.
The project dubbed: “Atewa Till Eternity Video,” campaign spearheaded by Rocha Ghana an NGO in environment protection and supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Accra, featured 10 artistes.
The musicians performed at the function to thrill and educate the gathering and also presented copies of the CDs to the Okyenhene, who commended them for a job well done.
The ambassadors include Osei Tufour (OBOUR), President of Musicians Union of Ghana, Sherifa Gunu, Mzvee, Kojo Rana, X,Heleen and Kuami Eugene.