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Ghana loses $54billion annually to environmental degradation – EPA  

  Wed, 22 May 2024
Science Ghana loses $54billion annually to environmental degradation – EPA
WED, 22 MAY 2024 LISTEN

An economic assessment on the cost of environmental degradation in Ghana is valued at USD 54billion annually, Dr Kingsley Krugu, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, has said.

The degradation activities include: illegal mining, pollution of water bodies with chemicals like mercury, degradation of coastal habitats, and climate change resulting in erosion and displacement of communities along the coast.

Dr Kurugu, who was speaking at a ceremony to commemorate this year's World Biodiversity Day (WBD) in Accra said the value stated by the assessment might be much higher.

WBD is set aside by the United Nations to increase awareness and understanding of biological diversity.  

This year's theme: “Be Part of the Plan” is to remind humans of their responsibility towards the environment as citizens, as provided under Article 41 (k) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

It again calls for action by all stakeholders and the public to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also referred to as the KMGBF. 

Dr Kurugu noted that, the country in the 20th Century could boast of approximately 145,000sq kilometers of closed forest reserve was left with less than 15,000sq kilometers of closed forest presently.

“We have lost and still losing this important biodiversity due to uncontrolled anthropogenic activities coupled with over exploitation of resources for economic gains without recourse to the regeneration capacity of the forest,” he said, and urged the public to contribute to the protection of nature.

He noted that, although a lot of programmes and initiatives were ongoing in the country to ensure the sustainable management of biodiversity for national development, the expected outcome was yet to be realised.

Madam Ophelia Mensah Hayford, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, states that natural heritage supports unique species of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

“As custodians of this invaluable biodiversity, we are responsible for ensuring its protection, conservation, and sustainable utilisation for the benefit of present and future generations,” she said.

She noted that the Ministry was committed to developing strategies that integrate biodiversity conservation and sustainable use across sectors, including forestry, agriculture, fisheries, and urban planning.

“We will continue to strengthen capacity-building initiatives, environmental education, and public awareness campaigns to empower individuals, communities, and stakeholders to actively participate in biodiversity conservation efforts at all levels to foster a culture of environmental stewardship,” she stated.

MESTI, she added, would collaborate with government agencies, civil society organisations, academia, private sector entities, and development partners to mobilise resources, share knowledge, and implement coordinated actions for biodiversity conservation.

GNA

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