The Embassy of Israel, in collaboration with the Ghana Garden and Flower Movement, and the Department of Parks and Gardens, Tuesday marked the Earth Day with tree planting at the La Wireless Cluster of Schools in Accra.

Mrs Shani Cooper-Zubida, the Ambassador of the State of Israel to Ghana, planted an orange seed in the “Jerusalem Garden” to mark the Day.

Among the high profile dignitaries, who also planted various tree seedlings in the Garden to commemorate the Day, were Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, wife of the late former Vice President, and Madam Esther Cobbah, the Board Chair of the Ghana Garden and Flower Movement, an initiative of Stratcomm Africa.

Others were Reverend Nii Ayitey Okine, the Head of the Department of Parks and Gardens, and Mrs Millicent Adokpa, School Improvement and Support Supervisor of the Ghana Education Service.

Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

Mrs Cooper-Zubida called on all to reaffirm commitment to promoting harmony with nature to achieve a just and sustainable environment.

“Let us take a step back and look around beginning with our most immediate surroundings, assessing how we can improve it and make a conscious effort to spearheading positive change,” she said.

She noted that when it came to climate innovation and sustainability, Israel could serve both as an example and a provider of solutions to global problems.

The Ambassador said Israel’s arid and water scarce conditions, combined with its entrepreneurial and problem-solving spirit, had made the country a leader in the field of environmental innovation.

Mrs Cooper-Zubida announced the Third Annual Start-Ups Competition: “The Israel Green Innovation Competition (IGIC),” and said: “Together with the Ghana Gardens and Flowers Movement, we are calling Ghanaian start-ups to find solutions for challenges in agriculture and horticulture in Ghana.”

“Your solution doesn’t have to be Hi-Tech oriented or digitalised – it has to be sustainable and productive for the community.”

The Ambassador said during the next “Ghana Gardens and Flowers Show,” the Embassy would award the winner of the competition with a fully paid trip to Israel, including meetings with potential investors and internationally acclaimed Israeli start-ups that would help the winner to go commercial.

She said the first winner of the competition had already visited Israel and the second would do so after the COVID-19 pandemic was brought under control.

Madam Cobbah said the livelihood of humanity depended on maintaining the world as a garden and creating their home gardens.

She said keeping the world and home gardens alive was as essential as making sure mankind breathed.

“We each have a responsibility and we have to own and deliver on this responsibility. It is our individual and collective responsibilities to deliver gardens in our surroundings including public places like school compounds,” she said.

Rev Okine, on her part, said one did not have to be a millionaire to help save Mother Earth, adding: “In other words, if each of us can be more conscious of environmental issues and willing to take some simple steps to save the Planet, we can make a huge contribution.”

He urged all to reset their relationship with nature by valuing it as the indispensable resource that it was.

“Rather than destroying our natural world, we need to apply nature-focused solutions to our greatest challenges and create more robust resilience to systemic shocks in the future.”

Interventions such as the restoration of forest, wet and peatlands in Ghana would help regulate water supply and protect communities from floods and landslides, he said.

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