Founder and Director of the World Sustainability Organization, Paolo Bray, has made an urgent appeal to the Government of Ghana to collaborate with traditional authorities to preserve Ghana’s depleting forests, and prevent environmental degradation from threatening the country.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with GHOneTV’s Natalie Fort, globally recognized environmental expert, Paolo Bray, stressed, the role of traditional authorities in the protection of natural resources must not be underestimated; “Agriculture should not only aim at preventing degradation of the environment, instead farmers with the support of traditional authorities, should aim at restoring and improving preexisting habitats, protecting existing biodiversity and helping it to flourish.”
Paolo Bray further opined this should be applied also in the fisheries sector, with the aim being not only to protect fish stocks from over exploitation, but instead to promote the establishment of more marine protected areas.
Ghana’s rapid deforestation has been driven by agricultural expansion (largely for cocoa), wood harvesting for energy, population growth, gold mining and timber lobby groups. Inefficient and poor management of forest resources, has over the years led to over exploitation; resulting in degraded forests that are more susceptible to wildfire and flooding.
Since the early 1990’s, Ghana has lost more than 30% of its forests, which is now covering 21% of the country. With a remarkable 80% of Ghanaians depending on the forests for their livelihood, deforestation has a major impact on communities, hence the need to urgently tackle the menace. Paolo Bray stated “Traditional leaders have the power to institute control mechanisms, to regulate human activities with regards to the environment. They must be empowered by the government, to use their indigenous ecological knowledge to conserve and protect, the environmental resources within their jurisdiction.”
“Collaboration between traditional and political leaders is the only sustainable solution to preventing environmental degradation in Ghana” he added.
The World Sustainability Organization is a global organization whose key objective is the conservation of ecosystems, aimed at protecting critical habitats and endangered species globally, by means of sustainability certifications – Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth and related conservation and awareness projects, it is headquatered in Italy.