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23.05.2008 General News

Speakers Call For Integration Of Biodiversity To Address Food Crisis

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Speakers at the celebration of the International Biodiversity Day yesterday called for the appropriate integration of bio-diversity issues in agriculture to reverse the current
food crisis.

They also identified the shift from the use of lands for crop production to biofuels, in view of the hike in petroleum prices, as a major threat to food security.
Mr Kwadwo Adjei Darko, Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, in a speech read on his behalf at Domiabra in the Weija Municipality, said within the last two years, lands used for the cultivation of plants for biofuels in the United States alone could have produced food for about 250 million people.
He said the celebration of the Day under the global theme: 'Bio-diversity and Agriculture' was therefore timely to discuss the effects of human activities on the environment and called for effective management of biological resources.
The Minister said bio-diversity defined as the variety of life on earth, made up of plants, animals and micro-organisms, was crucial to human survival and as such its sustainability should be a concern to all.
Mr Darko therefore implored the youth to use their exuberance to restore and enhance the environment and appealed to traditional rulers to support the enforcement on bye-laws against unfriendly environmental practices.
Pro Patrick K. Ofori-Danson, Acting Chairman of the National Biodiversity Committee, also asked farmers to desist from moving from one land to another to grow their crops.  He advised them to rather consider ways to make the land fertile for re-use in order to sustain the eco-system.
Prof  Ofori-Danso asked Ghanaians and the entire African continent to dialogue and put in place strategies to improve food security.
Mr Arnold Steven Owusu-Afriyie, Municipal Chief Executive , said Domiabra which used to be famous for farming and fishing, was now under serious threat as a result of sand winning and bush burning.  He said this had affected the source of livelihood for the people as well as revenue generation for the Municipal Assembly.
Mr Owusu-Afriyie hinted that the Municipality was therefore initiating plans to provide them with other alternative source of livelihood. He advised the residents to condemn any activity leading to further degradation and called for the support of traditional authorities and development partners to reduce the current state of biodiversity loss.
The International Day for Bio-diversity slated for May 22 every year was declared by the United Nations to create awareness and understanding on biodiversity issues and its impact on human life and the environment.
The Day was celebrated in Ghana under a local theme: 'Biodiversity and Agriculture: Sustainable Agriculture For Biodiversity Conservation'.

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