It’s Time To Save The Environment - President Mills
Ghana’s President Professor John Evans Atta Mills has challenged world leaders to pilot the crusade against environmental degradation, otherwise the moment ‘’ the last marine species dies, the last human being will also die.’’
He urged world leaders and policy makers to enforce the laws and rules governing the environment to guarantee the survival of marine species and water bodies, for the enhancement of human life and the environment in general.
‘’We are threatened by environmental degradation, and the beautiful gift God has given us is rapidly going out of us, he said.
Addressing hundreds of participants at this year’s edition of the International Conservation Caucuses Foundation (ICCF) and the U.S Congressional Oceans Gala at the
Andrew Mellon auditorium on the 1301 constitution avenue, NW Washington D.C in the United States of America (USA), President Mills indicated that the existence of human beings was closely intertwined with the existence of the ocean.
The ICCF event was the most important gallery of conservationist from the corporate, Non Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and governments and communities to promote strong government leadership in the sound management of the world’s natural resources.
He said Ghana and almost all the African countries have benefited from the proceeds from the fishing industry, and had also played key roles in areas of employment and other socio economic benefits. However one serious problem that we face as a continent is the rapidly depleting fish stocks via artisanal and industrial fishing.
He bemoaned the neglect of the coastal villages in Ghana. ‘’ once prosperous villages you will find one old lady and some young people, many of those fishermen travel to neighboring countries, where sometimes they are the cause of violence and strive because the locals see them as going to impose themselves on some very scarce resources.’’
According to President Mills, Africa and especially those sharing the Atlantic coast from Angola to Guinea-Bissau, Ghana was in the forefront of creating a sustainable and strategic maritime protection management, he said this was done through regional organization which wants to protect human lives through the assessing and mitigation of the eco system pollution, sustain the living marine resources for human use and also redress the loss of biodiversity among others.
He said, ‘’we have made some progress in Ghana. We have the ministry of Environment Science and Technology making sure we deal with the issue of the environment because it’s affecting us in all areas. We welcome this meeting and want to advice that environmental education is the sine qua non to saving the ocean’’.
President John Atta Mills who was invited to the conference based on his commitment to enhancing and sustaining the eco system advocated for environmental education should not only be formal but also informal to cover those who were used to the ‘the old way’ of doing things and found it difficult to adapt.
‘’If our generation has failed to waking u to environmental education, the current generation should have environmental education etched on their psyche, and we also believe that it is time for action", the special guest said.
According to him, human survival depended exclusively on the oceans for jobs, world economy, and human livelihood and for medicine.
A Gala commemorated the launch of the Oceans Caucus Foundation, a new ICCF initiative that encourages policy makers to proactively address Ocean resource challenges which shapes national and economic security.
Some of the participants included; the Mexican President Felipe Calderon who was presented with the Teddy Roosevelt international conservative award, ICCF ‘’Good Steward’’ award went to Bo Derek and the ICCF Conservation Leadership in Business award went to the president and C E O of Bumble Bee foods.
Other dignitaries were the prime minister of Barbodos Freundel Stuart, William Wriggley Jnr, and US secretary of the interior Ken Salazar amongst a host of others.
President Mills who was accompanied by the chief of staff Mr. Henry Martey Newman, Ghana’s permanent rep to the U.N Ambassador Ken Kanda, and Ghana Ambassador to the U.S and his assistant Daniel Ohene Agyekum and Madam Edith Hazel respectively, commended the organizers of the forum and also called for a concerted effort in protecting the environment from depletion.