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Tackle climate change with urgency

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BY: Kwame Asare Boadu
Nana Dwomoh Sarpong
Nana Dwomoh Sarpong

Environmentalist, Nana Dwomoh Sarpong, has stated that it is time for the nation to rise to the challenge climate change poses since its effects are one of life or death.

He said very little was being done to combat the challenge of climate change, "as we face its impact".

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra last Saturday, he warned that efforts to protect wetlands might not be realised if the nation continued to pay lip service to the effects of climate change.

“We seem to have taken a defeatist position on climate change as state officials continously pay it lip service,” he said

Officials faulted

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Nana Sarpong, who is the President of the Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies, an environmental organisation, said government officials attended international conferences on climate change every year but failed to implement lessons learnt on their return and just looked on as the people felt the strain of its impact.

“State officials travel all over the world to talk about climate change but back home, they just sit aloof and do nothing. Even when there is an opportunity to address matters on climate change, nobody talks about it,” he said.

World Wetlands Day

For example, he said, February 2, 2019 was World Wetlands Day and was on the theme: ‘Wetlands and Climate Change’, but surprisingly, there was virtually nothing done in Ghana to celebrate the day.

"It is a very sad development. People in officialdom travel round the world and receive funding for work towards halting climate change, but on the day set aside to mark wetlands and climate, there was no junketing government official present to talk about it,” he said.

Importance

Nana Sarpong said wetlands constituted an important part of the natural environment since they provided an abode for variety of animal and plant species.

“Most of our medicinal plants are found in the wetlands so if we destroy our wetlands, we destroy our medicinal plants, as such we should do everything we can to protect our wetlands,” he said.

He noted that there were too many ‘talk shops’ on climate change in the country, adding that “we only talk. Go to Paris and talk. It is time state officials began acting and stopped addressing climate change on paper,” he said.