Mrs Diana Acconcia, the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Ghana, on Wednesday said her outfit will team up with government, to fight against illegal cutting down of trees, to protect and restore the country’s forest.
She noted that Ghana faced the highest deforestation rates in Africa, which was caused by a myriad of reasons such as biomass consumption, which included wood burning for cooking, the mining sector, agricultural extension and illegal harvesting.
She said forests were crucial allies in the reduction of carbon dioxides (CO2) emissions, fight against climate change, and the depletion of such an important natural resource, posed serious threats to the survival of both humans and the entire planet.
Mrs Acconcia was speaking at the launch of the EU Climate Diplomacy Week in Accra, which was on the theme: “Reforestation,” and dedicated to re-greening Ghana.
She said the annual event, which was organised by the EU Delegation, was to create awareness and strengthen the global response to the threat and impact of climate change in the context of sustainable development.
She said the EU would in partnership with the Accra and Kumasi Municipal Assemblies, and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, engaged various players in activities including tree planting, awareness activities at schools, roundtable discussions on re-greening the city, a workshop on youth and afforestation, as well as a beach clean-up exercise.
“The survival of forests is a make or break issue for our planet,” she said, adding that it was the reason why the EU in July 2018, decided to step up its action and work in partnership with producer countries, and strengthen international cooperation to reduce pressures on forests.
Mrs Acconcia called for collective efforts in addressing the challenges of deforestation by planting more trees to prevent the adverse effect of climate change globally.
Mr Desmond Appiah, the Chief Sustainability Advisor to the Mayor of Accra, acknowledged the EU for its sustained support in diverse areas including the energy sector over the years.
He reiterated the importance of afforestation and the need to work together to address the current challenges resulting from high population, expanded urban settlements and human activities that were negatively impacting on the climate.
He said Ghana had already made efforts to curb this menace and that the Government was committed to continue 10,000 reforestation per year and hoped that with the help of the international community, it could be doubled.
Ms Victoria Michaels, a Model and Entrepreneur, who is also an agent for climate change, called for more action and less talk, saying, the threat to the environment was heart-breaking, hence, the need to intensify public awareness and education to reverse the trend.