We celebrate world environmental day tomorrow, a Non-governmental organization in environmental preservation Zerah Foundation is calling for attitudinal change to preserve Ghana’s green forest. The World Environment Day, commemorated on 5 June since 1972, is one of the ways in which the United Nations focuses world attention on the environment and encourages political action.
The local theme for this year’s celebration is ‘greening our environment to save Ghana; Raise your voice, grow a tree to green the environment,’
According to the Executive director of Zerah Foundation Michael Awuni, activities of illegal Gallamsey and chainsaw operation pose serious danger to our environment and much must be done to halt these activities. The foundation believes that as government gunner for support to green the environment it behooves on the citizen to avoid practices the intern to degrade the environment.
BELOW IS THE FULL STATEMENT
ZERAH FOUNDATION GHANA
Tema, Ghana | 0244630532
World Environment Day, which is commemorated on 5 June every year since 1972, is one of the ways in which the United Nations focuses the attention of the world on the environment and encourages political and social action. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people from countries all over the world have mobilized for individual and organized environmental action.
As we celebrate the world environment day, Zerah Foundation will like to urged the general public to get actively involved in environmental issues. It is our responsibility to constantly clean our immediate surroundings, plant trees to mitigate the effects of carbon emission, flush drains and avoid dumping of waste into drains to prevent flooding and outbreak of diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, cholera, etc.
As the local theme of the World Environment Day stipulates, ‘Greening Our Environment to Save Ghana’, Zerah Foundation wishes to call for collaborative effort among players within the sector backed by effective resource deployment by community members, traditional authority, local government authority, government, private sector and development partners to green the environment.
It is quite obvious from the above theme that forest resources conservation is now becoming a prime focus for both the developed and developing world. It is therefore our collective responsibility as a people to join the world in the crusade to protect our forest and natural resources.
In spite of the numerous benefits we derive from the forest (i.e. foreign exchange earnings from timber exports, wood fuel, Bush meat, direct and indirect employment, habitat for wildlife and other valuable genetic resources, storing and recycling carbon), the forest continues to be under serious threat from degradation.
The major drivers of deforestation as most of you know include; over exploitation of timber, especially by illegal chainsaw operators; rampant bush fires; increasing conversion of forest lands, especially forest reserves to agricultural land due to population pressure; excessive surface mining and inadequate enforcement of policies and laws.
Just a few months ago, some officials of Zerah Foundation visited some forest reserves in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions to have first-hand information about the situation on the ground. It will interest you to know that in one of the reserves, we saw six illegal chainsaw operators and the destruction they had caused was so huge and unacceptable.
We observed a near complete take-over of reserves like Dessiri and Tano Offinsu forest reserves by settler farming communities. In the Western Region, some reserves have seriously been encroached upon by the cultivation of cocoa while others are under siege by galamsey and illegal chainsaw operators.
Between the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions, we witnessed a including economic trees like the Shea-nut tree spectre of trees being cut down for fuel wood and charcoal production. This situation is quite alarming and something ought to be done now to reverse this worrying trend.
The devastating effects of forest degradation in Ghana, especially during the past two decades are beginning to manifest themselves in the extinction of our premium timber species such as Odum, Mahogany, Sapele, etc. Furthermore, the drastic reduction in the raw material base of the timber industry, loss of biodiversity, drying up of water bodies and loss of tourist sites and other natural resources that are important sources of revenue and livelihood support for the rural people can also be attributed to the above effects.
In view of the above, Zerah Foundation wishes to advice admonish government to support NGOs, CBOs and other civil society group which are into environmental protection to do more to change the current status quo. Zerah Foundation is ready to collaborate with government and other players in the sector to tackle this huge environmental challenge we are currently in the country.
To the general public CBOs, NGOs and other civil society groups, let us aim at creating awareness about environmental issues. Zerah Foundation would like to encourage the general public to embark on massive tree planting to improve upon the environment. We will also appeal to people to engage in environmentally responsible actions.
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