The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reminded the citizenry of the constitutional obligation to protect the environment.
Mr Henry K. Kokofu, Executive Director of the Agency, said: “We reckon that the EPA has a huge task toward maintaining environmental integrity but the Agency cannot do that without the support and collaboration from the public. People must renew their commitment towards protecting the biophysical that support life.”
The Executive Director said this at the opening of a meeting with Regional and Area Heads of the Agency in Accra on Wednesday.
The meeting with officials from the 16 regions was to enable Mr Kokofu, who was recently appointed to head the Agency to familiarise himself with the officers and solicit ideas, which would feed into management strategy.
Mr Kokofu said “People need to know that we have only one environment confined in Ghana and when it is destroyed through our actions such as illegal mining, fishing, air pollution and deforestation, we will all perish because there cannot be an environment again. It behoves on us, as a people to protect it so we can enjoy nature.”
He said the Agency and the citizenry could not afford to destroy the environment and “fail President Nana Akoffo-Addo, who is a Sustainable Development Goals Advocate Co-Chair.”
Mr Kokofu stated that one of the urgent issues to address was to assess the Agency’s impact on the national discourse to find out its contributions over the years, saying “we want to find out if it has been positive, how do we continue and if negative, we devise strategies to up our game to contribute to the development of the country.”
He said his leadership would focus on workers’ welfare, capacity building, boosting of staff strength, and providing the necessary tools for workers to ensure high productivity.
Mr Kokofu hinted that EPA would soon commence a campaign to educate the public on the need for attitudinal change towards the environment and the adverse effects of negative environmental related activities.
“People need to understand the concept of the environment and change their attitudes,” he stated.