In commemoration of 2019 World Press Freedom Day, some journalists in Ghana’s Ashanti region joined hands in a tree planting exercise to help protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Spearheaded by the regional chapter of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), the initiative has the goal of fostering sustainable environmental sanitation in line with the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, and 13 – Climate Action.
According to Regional GJA Chair, Kingsley E. Hope, the SDGs can only be met by 2030 when all individuals, groups and organizations get involved in protecting, restoring and promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem, sustainable land and forest management, combating desertification and halting unusual land degradation.
“The media has a unique role to play in accelerating climate action, combat climate change and environmental degradation by creating awareness to the general public through advocacy and education,” he noted.
The journalists planted 40 hybrid coconut seedlings at Danyame, a suburb of the Kumasi Metropolis.
Climate Change Advovate, Kofi Adu Domfeh, who joined in the planting, commended the journalists for the effort in taking climate action to help protect the environment.
“Climate Change is everyone’s business,” he said. “We cannot combat global warming outright unless everybody joins the chain through environment sanitation and environment protection, especially in pushing for policy implementation”.
According to Mr. Domfeh, a lot of human activities contribute to climate change, hence the need for increased advocacy against burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
He touted the importance of tree planting for carbon sequestration, providing shade, good quality air and healthy environment for living.
“Such environmental exercises are important to conserve water, preserve the soil, reduce flooding, provide food and support biodiversity,” he said.
The city authority has been tasked to ward off encroachment on the wetland where the coconuts were planted.
The GJA will constantly monitor and nurture the planted economic trees to ensure their survival.