Ghana’s Country Environmental Analysis has put the cost of environmental degradation per year at an estimated $11 billion.

The Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation is seeking a reversal of the alarming rate of overexploitation and extraction of resources from the environment.

The health of the ecosystem is directly proportional to the health of life on earth. However, the environment is being exploited at an unsustainable rate.

Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Kwaku Afriyie, has bemoaned the overexploitation of the environment.

“The United Nations reports that ecosystem loss is depriving the world of carbon sinks, like forests and peatlands, at a time humanity can least afford it. Global greenhouse gas emissions keep rising for consecutive years and the planet is at risk of experiencing an unprecedented impact of climate change.

“The analysis points to the conclusion that environmental degradation and sustainable natural resource use, pose a significant risk to future economic growth as well as a threat to public and ecosystem health,” he noted.

Growing of trees and greening cities resonate with the UN decade on ecosystem restoration, which seeks to reverse the degradation of the global ecosystem.

Commemorating the World Environment Day, the Environment Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to deal with the galamsey menace.

“One of the major threats to the environment is galamsey. I therefore wish to reiterate the commitment of the government to deal with the galamsey menace.

We will work with the Ministry of Lands and Natural resources and other stakeholders to restore the quality of our polluted water bodies, degraded forests and lands.”

According to him, the minerals and mining act of 2016 has been amended and one can serve between 15- and 25-years imprisonment if found guilty by the courts for galamsey.

The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency urged traditional leaders to spearhead the fight against environmental degradation by enforcing the requisite laws and regulations.

Executive Director of EPA, Dr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, says green spaces need to be placed at the heart of urban planning.

“Municipal authorities can plant trees and create urban woodlands in schools. It is in this regard that we welcome an applaud reafforestation programme of the Juaben Traditional council.

“I call on traditional authorities to promote and uphold our cultural values to go a long way to support the conservation agenda”, he said.

The paramount chief of Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, who doubles as the Chairman of the council of state, applauded the ministry for addressing ecosystem degradation.

’I commend the ministry for taking steps to protect the environment” he said.The UN decade on ecosystem restoration is scheduled between 2021 to 2030 to revive the ecosystem.

It estimates that ecosystem restoration can deliver one third of the mitigation needed by 2030 to keep global warning below 2C.This will significantly contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by the 2030 target.