Protect your green spaces
Updated: Jan 30, 2021
Tackling climate change effects seem to be an insurmountable task for the everyday person but Yaa Frempomaa has gathered 10 ways that we can play our part. In part three, she shares two more below.
5- PROTECT ATEWA FOREST
Did you know that forests are essential in combating global warming, preserving soil erosion and protecting water bodies? Ghana-based charities such as A Rocha Ghana are fighting for one of Ghana's remaining virgin forests called Atewa Forest Reserve to be protected.
Our livelihoods and survival is largely dependent on our forests, from the air we breathe to the wood we use.
Sign the petition to preserve the Atewa Forest Reserve not just for yourself but also the animals of different species of animals and plants that survive there. Read more.
Atewa is the source of three major rivers in the country: Birim, Densu and Ayensu and their tributaries provide drinking water to over 5 million people. The forest under serious threat as government plan to allow Chinese mine bauxite in the forest in exchange for $2 billion investment in infrastructure from China.
Atewa Forest Reserve, huge evergreen forest of about 17,400 hectares of land located in the eastern part of Ghana, Akyem Abuakwa to be precise. It has gained an international recognition as one of de highest priority ecosystems for West Africa. It was first gazette as National Forest Reserve around 1926, later as Special Biological Protection Area in 1994, as Hill Sanctuary in 1995 and finally as one of Ghana's 30 Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs) around 1999.
6 - VISIT YOUR LOCAL PARKS
Did you know that visiting public spaces and connecting with nature are important to wellbeing and health?
That is why we encourage people, particularly those living in the city to visit their local parks and get involved in activities that promote the public education of horticulture, landscape beautification, tree planting, and vegetable and fruit cultivation. The Department of Parks and Gardens, a government ministry in Ghana established in 1961 under Osagyefo President Kwame Nkrumah, does all this and much more.
Accra is prone to flooding, but plants, especially trees could make a difference in preventing flooding and generally improving the quality of life, environmental campaigner Awula Serwah, founder of Eco-Conscious Citizens said in The Ghana Report.
Members of the public are encouraged to plant trees at the site for a fee and Eco-Conscious Citizens is even advocating for people to plant trees to mark the birth or death of a loved one. The image above was to mark the passing of Mrs Yetunde Zwennes Kwabwe's mum, who was also a member of Eco-Conscious Citizens.
A further challenge is that Parks and Gardens is also under threat from re-zoning, according to environmental campaigner, Awula, which would transform the Parks and Gardens' land from ‘green civic’ status to exclusively ‘civic’ status. And this would allow a multi-storey office to be built on the land. In May 2019, Eco-Conscious Citizens petitioned President Akufo-Addo over the felling of trees at the Ministry of Parks and Gardens.
Accra’s population is growing rapidly leaving less or no space for greens, trees are constantly being destroyed to pave way for concrete structures such as office spaces, residential facilities, restaurants, shopping plazas, recreational and entertainment centres. In a city that averages between 25°C and 30°C, this leaves little in the way of cooling, resulting in an over-reliance on air conditioners and thus increasing energy costs, according Meqasa.
As well as visiting Parks and Gardens, there are other spaces you can visit, such as Legon Botanical Gardens, located at the tip of University of Ghana campus. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, which shares the same compound as the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum; Aburi Botanical Gardens, Efua Sutherland Children’s Park, and children’s part in Accra - Mmofra Place.
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Watch out for the next installment of how we can play our part in tackling climate change.
Interested in environmental issues?
Read installments one and two here.