Professor Engineer Michael Marek, the Director and Senior Research Scientist at the Global Change Research Institute Czech Academy of Sciences (CzechGlobe) has urged Ghana to do more to tackle the rapid depletion of her forest cover.
He, however, lauded the government’s annual Tree Planting Exercise, and called Ghanaians to support the exercise, and remain responsive enough in assisting the nation’s efforts to stem illegal logging and lumbering, contributing to deforestation in the country.
Prof Marek gave the advice at a public lecture on the theme “Global Change; the Conscience of European Fossil Society,” organised by the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) in Sunyani and attended by students, climate experts, environmentalists and foresters.
He said Ghana required an intensified and vigorous public education campaign for her citizens to understand the importance and thereby tackled illegal logging proactively and protect her forest reserves from wanton destruction.
“One hectare of tree can take care of the respiration of 55 people annually”, he said, worrying that though Africa’s contributions to global green gas emissions remained small, the continent bears the brunt of climate change impacts and consequences.
In Africa, the Czech’s Senior Research Scientist indicated deforestation and land use change remained the continent’s leading contributor and responsible for the continent’s 0.31 per capita contributions to the global emissions.
Prof Marek said the forest played an important role in the carbon update from the atmosphere, saying currently European forests absorbed up to 10 percent of total GreenHouse Gas emissions.
He said “we are all responsible for the global climate change climate” hence the need for everybody to contribute to building resilience as well as climate change mitigation actions to preserve the planet.
“Take action locally and think globally”, Prof Marek said, and advised everybody to be more responsible to safeguard and ensure forest sustainability.
Prof Marek said China, India, United States and the European Union remained the leading emission producers in the world, saying, growth in global population with Africa and Asia taking the lead was contributing significantly to global climate change.
Comparatively, he said Africa had the spring, winter and summer and thereby, putting the continent on the edge over Europe in climate change adaptation and mitigation actions.
Prof John K Kuwornu, Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UENR, expressed the university’s appreciation to CzechGlobe and Prof Marek in particular, saying through his instrumentality, the CzechGlobe had set up Carbon Tower at the Tano Bia Forest Reserve in the Ahafo Region.
Through the Tower Project, the CzechGlobe has graduated three PhDs students namely Dr Caleb Mensah, Dr Kyere Boateng, and Dr Thomas Agyei, who are contributing to education on climate change at the UENR, he added.