The Natural Resources Students’ Association (NARSA) of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) has launched its annual week celebration with an appeal to Ghanaians to desist from activities fast-tracking climate change in the country.
According to the Association, the level of the forest and land degradation because of illegal felling of trees through chainsaw operation, illegal mining, and indiscriminate bush burning culminating to the pollution of air and water bodies were seriously contributing to climate change.
It is in this sense that every Ghanaian must be an advocate of climate change mitigation to augment the government’s efforts in saving the country from its (climate change) debilitating effects.
The event on the theme “Natural Resources Contribution to Climate Change Mitigation” was sponsored by the Forestry Commission, Zenith Bank, Centre for Climate Change and Gender Studies (3CGS) of UENR and WACAM (a Ghanaian premier community-based human rights and environmental mining advocacy non-governmental organisation).
Activities lined up included talks and discussions on topical environmental issues and others relating to climate change mitigation as well as games and movie show.
Speaking at the launch in Sunyani, Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of UENR lauded the Association and noted that the celebration was an opportunity to educate people on pertinent national and international issues “which are hardly touched on at the undergraduate level in this part of the world”.
He pointed out the students were the most important natural resource in the University’s effort in mitigating climate change and therefore had a great role to play in the country by providing education to colleagues, community members, and the general public on how to mitigate climate change to sustain the environment.
Prof. Asare-Bediako said UENR’s responsibility is not only for its surrounding communities but the entire country as demonstrated by its 5th Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) festival celebration held recently in Sunyani.
The University, as a major objective of the event, provided expert knowledge to students of second cycle schools to motivate them to consider STEM programmes in their choice of career paths, the VC said.
He added, “NARSA and the whole University community’s very existence is a pillar to one of the visions of the VC towards employing natural resources to mitigate climate change in the University by beautifying and greening UENR”.
Dr Daniel Akoto Sarfo, the former head of 3CGS earlier urged the students and the youth in the country to get involved in the advocacy for climate change mitigation in the country.
He stated the youth should help improve the country’s sanitation situation by engaging in regular clean-up exercises, tree planting in their communities “for our healthy living because everything around us affects our general livelihood”.
Mrs Juliet Gyampoh, the President of the Association later in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the celebration was to rekindle the spirit of Climate Change mitigation advocacy in the students for them to champion the cause of sustainable environment and development of the country.