According to Global Forest Watch, Ghana lost 101kha of its natural forest, equivalent to 62.9 metric tons of carbon emissions in 2021. The alarming rate at which we are losing our primary forests due to deforestation from illegal-small scale mining (locally known as galamsey) and unsustainable agriculture, calls for young people to take interest and action in sustainability education which addresses environmental degradation and climate change.
Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) recognizes that wisdom in our rich traditional African systems of beliefs and values could be engaged to influence youth culture to be responsive to conservation and protection of nature. Over the past months, we have embarked on a project called Culture4Nature with Professor Kofi Asare Opoku, a former chair of the Ghana Institute of African Studies, and a retired Professor of African Traditional Religion. Together with this learned Octogenarian, we are exploring African traditional perspectives on nature and the natural environment, and how society can co-exist with nature harmoniously. We believe this will inform and empower young people of our Movement to challenge our current relationship with the planet which is driving the nature and climate crises.
We started off with visits to Anansekwae, a forest reserve created through the efforts of Prof. Asare Opoku. Following this, on World Earth Day 2022, we organized an educative nature hike for the public to the forest, where participants had the opportunity to connect with nature and also learn about different native plant species. Blog post with photos of the hike can be found here: https://gyemgh.org/blog/ghana-youth-environmental-movement-embarks-on-nature-hike-to-anansekwae.html