The Forest and the Climate Change Division (FCCD) of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) has embarked on schools’ outreach and climate change sensitization programme to create awareness about the effects of global climate change among school children.
The objective is to educate and sensitize pupils about climate change, its mitigation and adaptation strategies for minimising its impact and thus, make them aware of the significance and effects of climate change, as well as the role they could play to contribute to the reduction of the impacts.
Dr Mrs. Gloria Djabletey, Lead Facilitator of the programme, told the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi that, the initial focus had been on five schools in the Juaben District and Ejisu Municipality.
They are the Kubease M/A JHS, Hwereso R/C, Fumesua Anglican and the CSIR Basic Schools at Fumesua.
Dr Djabletey said the need to educate the youth early about climate change and its effects was very important to enable the present generation appreciate the impact of climate change so as to be able to device appropriate strategies to ensure unimpeded sustainable development in the future.
She said the sensitization programme highlighted on the importance of forests and the benefits people derive from them, how forests affected our lives and surroundings, the activities that destroyed forests, the effects of the forest destruction on our lives, how global warming occured, as well as climate change and its effects.
Dr Djabletey said in addition to the classroom presentations, the pupils were made to plant trees on their school compound.
She said a total of 1,500 forest tree seedlings of various species such as Blighia sapida (Akyee), Militia thoningii and Senna siamea, were planted in all the schools.
Again, she said, the pupils were sent to the Bobiri Forest Reserve and Butterfly Sanctuary at Kubease, located on the Kumasi-Accra highway, to experience the forest environment.
They were also given lectures on the history of Bobiri Forest and names of some tree species.
Dr Djabletey said the pupils had shown great enthusiasm in the programme, which was dubbed “plant a tree today, save a life tomorrow”.
She said FORIG would continue to sensitize young people to enable them become aware of their environment and show greater interest in activities that sought to protect it.