The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands and Forestry, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio has called for concerted efforts to mitigate and deal with the effect of climate change on the ecosystem.
Representing the sector Minister, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor at the maiden edition of the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) Environmental Sustainability Summit held on Wednesday, 20th July 2022 in Accra, Hon. Benito, who spoke on the theme “The Socio-economic impact of pollution on the environment and natural life”, indicated the need for government and relevant agencies to expressly take actions that will help reverse the current trend.
He said the country is already experiencing some effects of Climate Change, and in the coming decades, the impact will affect natural resources, livelihoods, food and water security in significant ways.
He highlighted some major interventions being implemented by the government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to address the challenges facing environmental sustainability.
The Deputy Minister indicated that the Ministry’s declaration of River Bodies as Red Zones for Mining, the ban on the manufacture and sale of the floating platform, popularly referred to as Changfan are some efforts to safeguard the ecosystem.
He further added that the government through the Ministry has rolled out the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP), which is targeted at providing alternative sources of livelihood to those affected by the fight against illegal mining amongst others.
Mr Benito reaffirmed the commitment of the Government through the Ministry to the fight against the devastating effect of climate change, stating that under the leadership of the sector Minister, the country has embarked on an aggressive afforestation and reforestation program dubbed the “Green Ghana Day” as a collective action towards the restoration of degraded landscapes in the country.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Jeroen Verheul said the world is at extreme risk if leadership does not demonstrate remarkable and drastic skills to tackle it.
H.E Verheul disclosed that the impact of climate change cannot be underestimated, as back home in his native Netherlands, the country is witnessing the hottest climate temperature ever recorded.
He also added that although Ghana does not depend on coal, “it stands to reason that phasing out fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy will also be beneficial to the economy and the environment”.
He applauded the government’s efforts in the fight against climate change and indicated that there is still more to do, looking at the alarming rate of climate change and its impact on the global landscape.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of B&FT, Dr Godwin Acquaye in his welcome address said the birth of the summit is a result of the recent data and figures on Ghana’s environmental sustainability performance index. He said that the data available continues to look bleak, despite the efforts of the government.
“Our very existence is greatly influenced by our immediate environment. The environment is one of the important facets of our existence on earth, oblivion to this fact will cause us dearly in the future”, He added.
Accompanying the Deputy Minister was the Technical Director, Forestry, Mr Joseph Osiakwan.