Fiapre (B/A), May 22, GNA – The Northern Africa Regional Meeting (2017) of the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA), has opened at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) at Fipare, near Sunyani.
The five-day meeting is under the theme: ‘Improving resilience to climate change, land and water resources: the role of the youth’, and it’s being attended by IFSA members drawn from seven countries in Africa.
Students’ representatives from Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo are participating in the event.
Dr Emmanuel Opuni-Frimpong, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the UENR, lauded the theme for the meeting adding that climate change remained a huge challenge on the African continent.
He said until the menace was tackled in a more proactive and responsive manner, many African countries would not be able to attain targets set for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dr Opuni-Frimpong, who is a Principal Research Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), called on Ghanaians to complement efforts by the government to fight illegal mining in the country.
He said illegal mining activities are major contributory factors to climate change, noting that if the situation was not brought under control, the country would experience extreme hunger and drought in coming years.
Dr Opuni-Frimpong said livelihoods, food security and human existence were threatened by climate change and it required a collective and radical approach to tackle the global challenge.
Dr Cyril Quist, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, expressed concern that the effects of climate change had affected annual food production in the region.
He said desertification, unpredicted weather pattern and erratic rains were the major factors contributing to climate change in the region.
Dr Quist said since climate change was a serious national and global challenge, there is the need for African leaders to ensure concerted and well-coordinated efforts to fight the menace.
By Dennis Peprah, GNA