The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) on Thursday launched a project to enhance the eco-system, and boost cocoa production in the Asunafo North Municipality.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with Mondelez International, a chocolate manufacturing company in USA.
Dubbed: “Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production in Ghana Project (ESP),” it would educate the youth on climate change, its impact on the environment, and the appropriate ways to address the challenge.
The outreach programme would involve the establishment of environmental clubs in 16 Junior High Schools (JHSs) in the Municipality and promote several school-based activities that would create the needed awareness, understanding and interest in climate change and its consequence on the environment.
The selected beneficiary schools are Kapain Municipal Assembly (M/A), Abidjan M/A, Ampenkrom M/A, Diasibe M/A, Driverkrom SDA, Edwinase M/A, Fawohoyeden M/A Fawohoyeden M/A ‘B’ and Fianko M/A JHSs.
The others are Kasapin Wesley Methodist, Kumaho M/A, Kwaopertey M/A, Minkakrom M/A, Kumaho M/A, Peterkrom M/A, and Wam-adiemra M/A JHSs.
Dr Augustus Asamoah, Forestry Management and Conservation Specialist of the project, announced this when officials supplied the beneficiary schools with sets of garden tools, comprising wheel barrows, rakes, spades, cutlasses, pick axes and mattocks at Kasapin.
The items worth GH₵35,000 are to equip the schools to engage in school-based environmental activities like the establishment of model farms, landscaping and tree planting as immediate measures to addressing the challenges of climate change.
Dr Asamoah noted that a well-informed youth would be in a better position to contribute to mitigating the impacts of environmental change in future.
“Besides equipping the students and teachers with the requisite information on climate change, the project is also expected to help in reducing carbon foot prints through afforestation,” he added.
Alhaji Mohammed Kwaku Doku, the Asunafo North Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), lamented that cocoa and food production in the area were diminishing because of unwarranted human and farming practices that destroyed the eco-system.
Alhaji Doku said while the government rolled out several interventions to increase cocoa production in the area, farmers and community leaders ought to support in arresting illegal chainsaw operation in the communities.
Mr. Abdul-Kassim Iddrisu, the Asunafo North Municipal Director of Education, said the environment was the source of livelihood, lamenting that because of the depletion of the environment, certain plant and animal species had been exterminated.
Mr. Iddrisu therefore advised authorities in the beneficiary schools to form environmental clubs not only to sustain the environment, but to help the project achieve its set goals and targets. GNA