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10.08.2005 General News

Minister calls for public awareness on environment

GNA

Accra, Aug. 10, GNA - Ms Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science, on Wednesday reiterated the need for the media to raise public awareness on environmental issues to conserve nature for sustainable development.

"The role of the journalist, the media and communicators in information dissemination with emphasis on issues of the environment, is most crucial," she said.

Ms Churcher was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop for 30 environmental journalists on the theme: "The Environmental Journalist and the Attainment of the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs)". The workshop is organised by the Ministry of Environment and Science in collaboration with Earth Service, an environmental NGO and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to upgrade the knowledge of the journalists and sensitise them on the values of the MDGs. Ms Churcher said environmental degradation had been accelerated by the development of socio-economic activities such as industrialisation, transport and civil construction and agriculture.

"Biodiversity is disappearing, priceless top soil is washing off, ancient forest are depleting...how do we make the public aware of the solutions and to let them appreciate the fact that unless we adopted sustainable patterns of production and consumption the prospect of the future generations are grim."

Mrs Churcher urged the journalists to help tackle the problem as a priority by doing their best to engage the public in prudent and sound environmental practices.

Mr Joshua Awuku-Apaw, Executive Director of Earth Service, said the media could play a crucial monitoring function by educating the public and policymakers on vital environmental information for effective enforcement of laws and programmes to protect the environment. He said the current state of some aspects of the nation's environmental resources showed that the nation was sitting on a time bomb ready to explode any time if nothing was done to save the situation. 10 Aug. 05

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