Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has called for concerted efforts to protect the environment from degradation.
According to him, the external environment holds the key to life while plant matter is the answer to human existence.
He noted that destroying trees and other plant matters on land and in the oceans is indicative of a person destroying parts of their lungs.
The Environment Minister, during an interview in Parliament on Friday, said this is because the oxygen humans breathe in is generated exclusively by plants.
Mr. Frimpong-Boateng who also read a statement on the floor of the House on World Environment Day stated that forests provide food, farmlands, and drugs for human consumption and also produce the oxygen
He stated that the sea and the land forests that produce the air that human beings need for existence should be protected from destruction.
“We have to protect our sea and forests. That is the essence of World Environment Day for people to pay attention,” he said.
According to him, COVID-19 has taught the human race an invaluable lesson when pollution went down during the lockdown.
“When there was a lockdown and factories, airplanes and cars were not operating there was a significant change in the environment. Pollution went down.
“This tells us that we need nature but nature does not need us because it can restore itself,” he stated.
He noted the essence of commemorating Environment Day is for people to recognize and acknowledge how they treat biodiversity in order to make its use sustainable for generations and for prosperity.
Dr. Frimpong-Boateng observed that pursuing a green economy is the modern panacea for addressing environmental degradation.
Ghana, he said, is also pursuing this trend and cited government’s engagement in carbon training with Switzerland and South Korea supplying communities with improved cook stoves in exchange for Ghana’s carbon credits as an example.
According to him, green economy is the future for secular economies to ensure materials such as plastics would be designed, utilized, and recycled.
“We create a secular economy for our people so we can use our resources sustainably.
“It is important we all come to terms that whatever we do must be done with the environment in mind; the water we drink, planning our farms, cities, cemeteries, and disposing of our waste.”
World Environment Day is an important day set aside by the United Nations and has been celebrated every 5th June since 1974.
The day offers nations and citizens of the world opportunity to ponder about the environment and the threats some human activities pose to it.