Dr. Meryir Ziekah, Manager and Resident Veterinary Doctor of the Kumasi Zoological Gardens, has underscored the need for continuous public sensitization to help protect the country’s biodiversity.
He said Ghana needed a policy that promoted sustainable public educational campaigns on the country’s forest reserves and the variety of animal species which inhabited in those biodiversity enclaves.
Dr. Ziekah made the call when over 300 school children converged at the zoological gardens at an event organized at the zoo last Friday, to mark this year’s World Earth Day in Kumasi.
The World Earth Day, which falls on April 22, every year, is aimed at showing support for environmental protection and also encourages people to do things such as tree planting and recycling, to benefit the earth and its inhabitants.
Dr. Ziekah pointed out that, 60 per cent of global wild life population was estimated to have been lost due to deforestation and other negative human activities.
It was therefore important to build and activate global movement that embraced nature and its values.
He said the decision to bring the school children to observe the day at the gardens was to create opportunity for them to identify some of the endangered animal species – chimpanzees, elephants, lions and others and inculcate in them the need to help protect those animals.
Dr Ziekah said the theme for this year’s celebration, which was “protect our species”, was to educate and raise public awareness on the increasing rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of the phenomenon.
Dr Bright Obeng Kankam, Head of Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services Division of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), said the decline of wildlife stock in Ghana was due to human activities impacting negatively on biodiversity and called for a stop in these deeds, especially bush burning.
He called on the public to frequently visit the Zoological Gardens as a form of education, entertainment and for research purposes.