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National Biodiversity Policy in the offing

The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation is in the process of finalising a National Biodiversity Policy, which will guide the country to ensure the conservation and sustainable utilisation of biodiversity as a national heritage.

The sector minister, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, indicated this when the ministry joined the world to observe this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity.

This year’s commemoration is on the theme: “Our solutions are in nature”.

The United Nations proclaimed May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

Nature under threat

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said while the policy was being worked on, it was important for people to adopt a positive change in both attitude and behaviour to help preserve, protect and promote natural resources for the benefit of life today and for future generations.

He observed that human activities and climate change had become rampant and posed major challenges to nature and sustainable development, saying that deforestation and illegal mining, both human activities and desertification, a natural phenomenon, posed a threat to human sustenance.

“Let us be reminded that our actions and inactions towards our natural resources and environment today may amount to digging our own graves ahead.

“It, therefore, behoves us to take the requisite steps and change our attitudes and behaviours to preserve, protect and promote our natural resources for the benefit of life today and the future generation,” the minister advised.

Preserving biodiversity

He stressed that people’s quest to survive had affected the consideration to preserve nature and that was impacting negatively on natural resources which could spell doom for the future.

“The increase in natural disasters, such as flooding, desertification, landslides, earthquakes, siltation, among others, are clear examples of the breakdown in man’s appreciation of biodiversity,” Prof. Frimpong-Boateng indicated.

He called on all to preserve the country’s national biodiversity resources, such as wetlands, water bodies, forests, coastal areas and national parks “as therein lies the solutions to the myriad environmental, social and economic challenges facing us as a nation and people.”

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the onset of the global pandemic, coronavirus (COVID-19) should remind people of the importance of the environment and biodiversity, as many Ghanaians realised the relevance and the potency of plants and herbs.

“Plants and herbs are man’s friends, but unfortunately we have not taken good care of them. With the current situation, it is time to re-examine our behaviours and actions towards the country’s natural resources and come to the realisation that technological advancements without the corresponding respect to preserve, protect and promote biodiversity could not address the country’s survival needs comprehensively.

“Remember every Ghanaian depends on nature for good health, water, food, medicines, clothes, shelter, energy and livelihood,” he said.