Greener Impact International Marks 2013 International Day of Biodiversity (IDB)
The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Water and Biodiversity”. In view of the importance of water to sustainable development, and pressing problems with waer availability and quality, the theme which was chosen to coincide with the International Year of Water cooperation 2013 focuses on the solutions provided by biodiversity to meet water-related challenges.
Greener Impact International (GII) joined this year’s celebrations in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) to ensure that the Ghanaian youth are not left out of the celebration. For the first time, this year’s celebration was in Jukwa in the Central Region of Ghana and was in two phases. The first Phase saw Greener Impact International organizing a workshop for the Ghanaian youth to sensitize them about the celebration, introduce them to practical ways they can be involved in the protection of biodiversity and also identified the potential challenges they might be faced with. The workshop which saw the participation of hundreds of students from Ghana successfully ended with the adoption of the 2013 Ghana Youth statement on Biodiversity.
The second phase was a durbar organized by MESTI which was well attended by the community members, the chief and opinion leaders of Jukwa. In attendance also was the Hon.
Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) – Hon. Dr. Oteng Adjei, the Head of drainage and flooding of the Ghana Hydrological service Department – Mr. Wise Ametefe, the director of the Ghana Environmental protection agency, Mr. Jonathan A. Allotte, the central regional minister, representatives from the Municipality, standard chartered Bank, students from Jukwa junior high school and Jukwa Senior High School.
The durbar was opened with a cultural display and a short sketch by the pupils of Jukwa basic school which touched on the theme of the celebration. It emphasized on the need to conserve the water bodies in Ghana and highlighted on the negative impacts of water pollution in Ghana and the need to protect our water bodies.
Mr. Kassim Hussein of Greener Impact International then took the stage to present the Youth statement on behalf of the Ghanaian youth. The statement emphasized on the need for the Government to recognize the potential contribution of the youth in the protection of the biodiversity in the country and also urged them to provide support and funding for educational programs and for youth activities such as tree planting which is very crucial in averting the high rate of water bodies and biodiversity loss in the country. A copy of the statement was presented to the Minister in anticipation of his immediate actions.
A number of the invited dignitaries also took turns to address the durbar. In his address, the Minister highlighted on the importance of water and biodiversity and called for the need for their protection and conservation. He also took a swap at the illegal mining operation also known as “galamsey” in the local parlance in the region and asked for support from the chiefs and the people to help fight them as their operation polluted the water bodies. He added that, the pollution of water bodies by chemicals such as mercury posed serious threat to both aquatic and human lives within the region.
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