The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) has organised a tree planting exercise at Juaben in the Ashanti Region ahead of the celebration of World Environment Day on Saturday.
The exercise formed part of activities rolled out by the Ministry to mark the day, which is being celebrated globally on the theme: “Ecosystem Restoration.”
In Ghana, a durbar is scheduled to be held at Juaben on Saturday to commemorate the day and the slogan chosen for the local celebration is “Let’s Unite to Save the Environment.”
Nana Otuo Serebuo II, the Paramount Chief of Juaben Traditional Area, joined officials of the Ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to plant the trees in selected schools in Juaben.
The Chief, who doubles as the Chairman of the Council of State, charged Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of planting trees to sustain their lives and that of the next generation.
He said the environment was changing rapidly as a result of wanton destruction of forests and water bodies through human activities and one of the best ways to restore the ecosystem was tree planting.
He said it was important that people collectively protect the environment as a civic responsibility for sustainable livelihoods and preservation of the environment for posterity.
This, he said, must be done devoid of politics and the focus of all stakeholders, especially politicians must be on securing a better future for the next generation and not how to win the next election.
Madam Irene Amankwah, Head of Field Operations of EPA, said Ghana had over the years lost a chunk of its forest cover as well as tree and animal species, which needed to be replenished urgently as part of efforts to fight climate change.
She said the depletion of forests and destruction of habitats of animal species was negatively impacting the lives of humans so any effort to restore the environment to its natural state must be supported by all.
She said the EPA would continue to engage all stakeholders, especially traditional leaders to protect the environment from further destruction.
World Environment Day, which is celebrated across the globe on June 5, serves as a platform for promoting the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The United Nations (UN) is expected to use this year’s celebration to launch the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration which seeks to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.
According to the UN, global greenhouse gas keeps rising for consecutive years and the planet is at risk of experiencing an unprecedented impact of climate change.