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Climate change response must be urgent

BY: Daily Graphic
File photo
File photo

All living organisms in the environment are interconnected and dependent on one another, with the elimination of any one of them impacting negatively on the entire system, referred to as the ecosystem.

Human life is also threatened when the ecosystem is damaged, hence the need to at all cost preserve the structure bequeathed to us by nature, as once the natural system is destroyed, it is almost impossible to restore it.

This is the underlying reason for the fight against illegal mining (galamsey), as that activity throws the natural connection among living organisms out of gear.

When rivers are polluted with chemicals through unstructured and unrestrained mining in our rivers, the natural order, which is the interdependence of aquatic life on the fresh water and its plankton, is interrupted.

Ultimately this destruction affects humanity because we are unable to depend on the polluted river for our water and fish and other protein needs. Aquatic life is destroyed when the water is polluted.

This and many reasons are why the Daily Graphic fully supports the call by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mining, Mr George Mireku Duker, to traditional leaders in the mining communities to help the government protect water bodies by stopping people from mining in them.

We believe that the traditional authorities will be helping their communities and humanity if they jealously guard our rivers from wanton destruction by way of ‘galamsey’.

We find it appalling that some chiefs sit aloof and watch the wanton destruction of water bodies by small-scale miners just because they, the custodians of our lands and rivers, have been compromised.

The Daily Graphic believes that if we begin to surcharge chiefs and leaders in areas where any of our interconnected rivers and streams have been destroyed through human activities, they will sit up and see the protection of our natural resources, including water bodies within their jurisdictions, as their sacred duty to the country.

Aside from the leaders, it is incumbent on all citizens to see to the preservation of our water bodies, because if we allow our water sources to be destroyed, we will be killed by thirst.

Already, climate change is taking its toll on our environment and so intentionally polluting our water bodies and destroying trees meant to shield water from evaporation amounts to hastening the effects of the global phenomenon.

The call, therefore, by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, on the youth and young leaders to own the fight against climate change by proffering innovative solutions is in the right direction.

Indeed, as Mr Jinapor told the youth at the Young Professionals and Youth Coalition Youth Climate Summit 2022 in Accra on April 1, being at the forefront of this year’s Green Ghana Day on June 20 to plant 20 million trees would be a worthy contribution towards the fight against climate change.

The youth are the future of every country and their involvement in fighting the climate change menace will definitely ensure that we have a sustained fight to reverse the impact of climate change, which is urgent, inclusive and comprehensive in ways that strengthen the resilience of our ecosystem.

As the West Africa Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Natural Resources at the British High Commission in Accra, Dr Julian Wright, said at the summit, the future of dealing with climate change is with the youth and we must do all we can to rope them in.