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UESD Observes World Environment Day and Green Ghana Day

The University of Environment and Sustainable Development (UESD) celebrated World Environment Day on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in collaboration with the Church of Pentecost, Ghana, and Sustainable Development Alliance (SusDA), an environmental NGO.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience.” The event took place at the Multi-Purpose Auditorium and brought together stakeholders from the religious, public, and environmental sectors. It was graced by dignitaries, experts, senior high school students, and members of the University community, including the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson; the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UESD, Prof. Edward Wiafe Debrah; and the Registrar, Mrs. Mary Abena Agyapong. Also present were the General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Samuel Gyau Obuobi, and the CEO of the Forestry Commission, Dr. Joseph Boakye, who served as the chairman.

Mrs. Mary Abena Agyapong, Registrar (UESD)

The event commenced with an address by the Registrar, Mrs. Agyapong, outlining the purpose of the event. She stated that since 1973, the world has celebrated World Environment Day as an opportunity for society to reflect on environmental issues and take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and environmental degradation.

It was followed by a keynote address by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof.Nyarko-Sampson who emphasised the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability through UESD’s vision. He noted that UESD, as a young institution nearing its fourth anniversary, currently offers 22 academic programmes and will graduate its first batch of students in November 2024.

He outlined the severe impacts of land degradation, desertification, and drought on food security, water availability, and biodiversity. He explained that these issues threaten the livelihoods of millions globally and identified unsustainable agricultural practices, deforestation, overgrazing, climate change, and urbanization as primary drivers of these environmental challenges.

To address the environmental challenges posed by land degradation and desertification, Prof. Nyarko-Sampson proposed key scientific principles and practices that promote land restoration, such as ecological restoration, soil health management, water conservation, agroforestry, and sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor explained the crucial role of policy and governance frameworks in supporting environmental initiatives and called for the enforcement of land use regulations and the promotion of community participation in natural resource management.

Prof. Eric Nyarko-Sampson also highlighted UESD’s ongoing initiatives in environmental restoration and sustainability through its academic programs. He explained that UESD has developed Master of Philosophy programmes in Environmental Restoration Studies and Climate-Resilient Communities, which are receiving attention from the Ghana Tertiary Education Commission (GTEC). He urged participants to unite in their dedication to environmental stewardship.

In an address, the General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost, Ghana (COP-Ghana), Apostle Samuel Gyau Obuobi, highlighted the church’s significant role in environmental stewardship. He noted its ongoing environmental campaign in mobilising its vast network of congregations for tree planting and environmental conservation. He called for collective action and emphasized the impact of local efforts in contributing to global environmental restoration, echoing the sub-theme, “Local Roots, Global Fruits.”

Apostle Samuel Gyau Obuobi, General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost, Ghana

The third address was delivered by Mr. Robert Kweku Adjei on behalf of the Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies, Elder Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, who empasised for the urgent need to address land degradation, desertification, and drought resilience.

Panel discussion

Following the keynote addresses, the event transitioned into a panel discussion moderated by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UESD, Prof. Wiafe Debrah. The panel discussion was made up of experts and stakeholders in NGOs, religious sects, and academia who shared diverse views on the challenges and solutions related to land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience.


Quiz competition

A quiz competition followed the panel discussion among three Senior High Schools; Somanya Technical Institute, Akuse Methodist SHS, and Somanya Secondary and Technical School.

The quiz was designed to test the participants’ knowledge of the theme, “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience.” Somanya Secondary and Technical School emerged as winners of the competition, Akuse Methodist SHS won the 2nd position while Somanya Technical Institute came third. The contesting schools were presented with plagues while each of the contestants received a certificate of participation.

The World Environment Day event at UESD was crowned with the planting of ceremonial trees by the dignitaries.

Green Ghana Day

In a related development, the University community led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof.  Nyarko-Sampson planted various species of seedlings on campus on Friday, 7th June, 2024 to mark Green Ghana Day. The seedlings were provided by the Forestry Commission.