The Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour, has urged Ghanaians to appreciate nature and be prudent in the use of the environment's resources.
Mr Darfour also underscored the importance of land, water bodies and the environment to life, adding that human lives would end without these resources.
He was speaking at this year's World Environment Day at Kyebi in the Eastern Region of Ghana which took place on the theme: "Connecting People to Nature from Cape Three Points to Bawku."
In an address, Minister for the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, reiterated government's determination to stop every illegal mining activity in the country and to reclaim, and restore the land.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng expressed concern about the pollution of river bodies and environmental degradation.
He noted that a decade ago, people could drink directly from the river but that that had stopped because of pollution.
In his remarks, Mr John Pwamang, Acting Executive Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), disclosed that as part of the implementation of the Ghana Environmental Management Project, EPA had 22 strategic tree nurseries in the Northern, Upper East and West Regions for communities to grow.
Mr Pwamang also made it known that EPA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, was conducting a tree planting exercise in the country.
He said EPA had adopted other measures such as the promotion of community participation in sustainable management of the environment using the CREMA approach and public awareness to ensure the proper acquisition of land for growing trees and equitable sharing of benefits derived from the conservation of nature.
Furthermore, he said, EPA had stepped up the monitoring of small-scale mining projects throughout the country to ensure compliance with the conditions of the environmental permits issued by the Agency and putting procedures and structures in place to operationalize the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, 2016 (Act 917).
On his part, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyehene, reiterated his stand on fighting illegal mining, that government, the media and other partners had the responsibility to stop illegal mining and to restore the Birim River into its original form.
Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin noted, however, that poverty was the leading cause of illegal mining and that fighting poverty would be the best approach to ending the menace of illegal mining.
He said the trees and fish species had the right to be in existence since God in his wisdom made it so and expressed regrets that even though the forests had every medicinal plant to treat diseases, there had not been a cure for HIV/AIDS and Ebola because of the extinction of plants.
Source: ISD (Evelyn Harvey)