Professor Edward Wiafe Debrah, Acting Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Somanya, has urged individuals and organizations to support wetlands restoration projects, which
is important to the ecology.
Wetlands provide primary sources of food, water, and habitat for plants and animal species.
Prof. Debrah said this in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on the celebration of this year’s World Wetlands Day marked on the theme: “It is Time for Wetlands Restoration.”
“The theme emphasized the need for wetlands to be restored in order to address today’s pressing environmental problems and to restore their natural benefits,” he said.
World Wetlands Day is observed every February 2nd, to recognize the critical role that wetlands play in our ecology. Wetlands provide food, water, and habitat for many plant and animal species.
Prof. Debrah listed several advantages of wetlands, including the production of carbon, which reduces the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and thus helps to slow global warming.
“They are essential for decreasing the effects of floods and droughts and for storing carbon, which helps to mitigate the effects of climate change… and offers services such as filtration, fishing, and enjoyment,” he added.
He also indicated that wetlands help to improve local economies by attracting tourists and generating revenue through hunting, fishing, and other activities.
Prof. Debrah mentioned mangrove forests, swamp forests, and freshwater marshes as examples of wetlands in Ghana that needed to be protected and conserved for future generations.
Despite the numerous benefits wetlands provided to the ecosystem, he noted that many wetlands in the country were threatened by activities such as deforestation, urbanization, and pollution.
To conserve and protect wetlands, he said the government had come up with several policies to regulate activities that could destroy the wetlands.
These included the Keta Lagoon, Tidal Wetlands, Songor, Muni-Pomadze, Densu Delta, Sakumor, and Owabi Wetlands, which were of international importance.
“The rate at which the masses are disobeying the laws that govern wetlands in Ghana leaves much to be desired. Activities like sand winning, hunting, and over-grazing are degrading the wetlands’ value and integrity,” he said.
Prof. Debrah, therefore, entreated citizens to assist in the conservation of wetlands by joining hands with stakeholders to spread the value of wetlands in the ecosystem.
“On World Wetlands Day, it is crucial that we consider how important it is to safeguard and conserve these priceless environments for future generations.
“In order to protect wetlands; governments, organizations, and people must band together to spread awareness of their value. This can involve assisting with conservation initiatives, lowering pollution levels, and promoting sustainable land use techniques,” he added.
World Wetlands Day serves as a reminder of the importance of wetlands in the world and the necessity for ongoing protection and preservation efforts for future generations.
“Let us all do our share to safeguard these priceless places and guarantee their ongoing survival, for wetlands are crucial components of ecosystems and have several positive effects on our environment and societies,” Prof. Debrah said.