Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, Member of Parliament (MP) for the Korle Klottey Constituency, says each individual has a responsibility towards safeguarding the environment.
She noted that the time had come for Ghanaians to realize that the environment was not just a separate entity, but an extension of each and every one’s space.
The Korle Klottey MP said this at a symposium on the National Environment, which was held in Accra, in honour of the 70th birthday anniversary of Former President Jerry John Rawlings.
The symposium was on the theme: “Protecting and safeguarding the National Environment for Future Generations.”
Dr. Rawlings, who is also the daughter and first child of Former President Rawlings, observed, that whilst enforcement of policies on environmental preservation was key to protecting the environment, the provision of alternate livelihoods for those whose economic activities destroyed the environment, was crucial to the complete halt of these activities.
She said a complete paradigm shift in the general behaviour of people towards the environment, where people turned over from an attitude of disregard, to that of respect and concern, was most needed for the effective protection of the environment.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, said there was a direct connection between environmental preservation and socio-economic progress.
He said irresponsible behaviour destroyed components of the environment, as well as natural assets, and in effect, economic potential.
The Minister said there was thus a dire need for all stake-holders to take environmental protection serious, and ensure our very national progress.
The occasion which was graced by a number of state dignitaries, had former President Rawlings who was accompanied by his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, as the Guest of Honour.
Former President Rawlings was Head of State of Ghana from 1981 to 2000, as well as for a brief period between June 4 and September 24, 1979, when he brought a potentially chaotic popular uprising under control, and handed over to an elected government.
From 1981 to 1992, he was the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council, a joint military/civilian government.
In 1992, he was elected president under a new constitution, and after two terms in office, handed over on January 7th, 2001, after which he served as the United Nations Eminent Person for International Volunteerism.
He is the founder of the National Democratic Congress, a political party established in 1992, on the ethos of social democracy.