Dr John Kingsley Krugu, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency
Dr John Kingsley Krugu, Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency

Media must make environmental issues priority — EPA Executive Director

The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dr John Kingsley Krugu, has called on journalists to make the coverage of environmental issues their priority and consistently bring such issues to the front burner.

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That, he indicated, would protect the country's forest reserves from being destroyed as a result of the activities of illegal mining (galamsey) and chainsaw operators. In an interview with the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of this year's World Press Freedom Day at Koforidua, Dr Krugu said it was imperative for journalists to reflect on the pivotal role they played in society with respect to environmental protection and sustainability.

He further urged journalists to reaffirm their collective commitment to leveraging journalism as a powerful tool for environmental protection and sustainable development.

Awareness, beacon of hope

Dr Krugu said the country was confronted with unprecedented environmental challenges from deforestation to pollution, from habitat loss to climate-induced disasters that demanded urgent action and, thus, the role of the media in raising awareness, fostering dialogue and advocating positive change could not be underestimated.

He stressed that the health of the country's planet and the well-being of future generations were at stake and, therefore, it was incumbent on journalists to rise up to help address the challenges in future.

 “Journalists play a crucial role in amplifying the voices of the marginalised, holding decision-makers accountable in driving meaningful change on environmental issues for the better.

“Thus, in the face of daunting challenges confronting the nation, journalism serves as a beacon of hope illuminating pathways towards a more sustainable and equitable future,” the EPA Executive Director stated.

He commended the GJA for its commitment demonstrated over the years to elevate the discourse on environmental issues to trigger collective action and lauded the GJA for its vision and leadership in championing the course of press freedom and environmental sustainability.

Collaboration

Dr Krugu explained that the EPA Act of 1994 (Act 490) established the agency with the authority to act on environmental protection in the country, however, it could not bear the burden alone, stressing that collaborative efforts were a more sustained way of winning the war.

He said, as the world was still combating the far-reaching negative impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, it was necessary for journalists to continue to help protect the environment.

He, therefore, gave an assurance of the EPA’s commitment to effectively collaborate with other stakeholders in advancing the shared goals and objectives.

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