Accra, 11th June, 2014 – The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) has joined Hipsters of Nature and other environmentalists to mark this year’s World Environment Day (WED 2014) with an environmental challenge dubbed ‘Bottle Up Accra’, which aimed at raising awareness on the need to keep our beaches clean and the importance of recycling plastic bottles and bags.
The environmental challenge, held at Labadi Beach, was contested by various schools from the Accra metropolis. The students, who were put in different groups, went round the beach and collected used plastic bottles that pose danger to the sea, fishes and humans.
In the 20 minutes set up time for the competition, the students collected about 1,290 wastes bottles, which were put in a 3-meter high wire mesh bottle that was built at the entrance of the Labadi Beach to raise awareness on the importance of keeping our environment clean and the need for recycling our plastic and other wastes in order to protect the environment.
UNU-INRA, as one of the lead sponsors of the event, believes that such programmes will sensitise people on the need to properly dispose our wastes in order to keep the environment clean.
Commenting on the Institute’s association with the event, the Director of UNU-INRA, Dr. Elias T. Ayuk emphasised the institution’s commitment to environmental protection through research and capacity development.
‘As a natural resources management think tank for the UN, its people and member states in Africa, one of our programme areas at UNU-INRA is on land and water resources management; and we are particularly happy to be part of this challenge because of our commitment to the protection of our ecosystems through evidence-based research to inform policy’, stated Dr. Ayuk.
At the end of the competition, Covenant International School (CIS) emerged the overall winning school for collecting the highest number of bottles from the beach within the stipulated time. CIS was followed by Star Bethany International School, and New Life International School, took the 3rd Position. Special prizes including certificates were given to the winning schools, all from Labadi, with the other schools also receiving certificates of participation.
For the organisers, Hipsters of Nature, it is imperative now than ever, to get the attention of the next generation who will have to deal with the environmental damages caused by the present generation.
‘Plastic water bottles are doing a significant amount of damage to the continent’s natural resources and looking at the present state of development around the continent, the rate of environmental pollution is said to rise. Ignoring the implications of these plastic bottles on our beaches will have a significant repercussion on fish and other marine stocks, noted, the Founder of Hipsters of Nature, Beatrice Dossah.
Hipsters of Nature is therefore appealing to the government, schools and other organisations in the country to take active role in promoting environmental education. They are also calling on other environmental activists and institutions to emulate the example of the sponsors to be part of such events in order to educate people on the need to protect our environment.
World Environment Day (WED) is the principal day set aside by the United Nations to create awareness and encourage countries and communities around the world to take important steps in protecting the environment.
UNU-INRA’s work centres on Africa’s two most important endowments its human and natural resources. It aims at strengthening capacities at universities and other national institutions to conduct research and produce well-trained individuals with the ability to develop, adapt and disseminate technologies that promote the sustainable use of the continent’s natural resources.
UNU-INRA operates out of its main office at the University of Ghana. It has also established operating units (OUs) at the University of Cocody, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia, and Institute for Food Technology (ITA) of the Ministry of Mines and Industry in Dakar, Senegal, through which some of its major activities are carried.
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