CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIZATION CAMPAIGN AMONG BASIC SCHOOLS IN GHANA 2021- ASOKORE MAMPONG JHS ‘A’

SCHOOL'S OUTREACH PROJECT

Climate Change is a serious phenomenon, which is threatening the world today. Consequently, climate change and environmental sustainability are currently issues of global concerns that need urgent action with multi-stakeholder approach. Swift and pragmatic steps are necessary to be able to address these concerns through awareness creation and information sharing so as to reach out to as many people as practicable.

Forests provide wide range of essential goods (timber, food, fodder, medicines, mushrooms, snails, game/bush-meat, etc.) and services (regulation of water, removal of pollutants from the atmosphere, protection of soil from erosion, protection of watersheds, serving as wind-break, moderating climate change effects, removal of CO2 from the atmosphere and production of oxygen for other organisms, aesthetic value, provision of habitat for most plants and animals, place for recreation and spiritual renewal). This natural heritage is however, under serious pressure from clearing for increased food production and new settlement (as a result of population increase), legal and illegal wood harvesting, sand wining and mining. There is therefore, the urgent need to maintain and preserve the little forest that is left to ensure sustainable production of these goods and services to benefit present generation and generations yet unborn.

It is interesting to note that many school pupils reside in communities that surround forest reserves. Some may have seen or even passed through such reserves. However, they may have little or no knowledge about the importance of this wonderful natural resource, its impact on climate change and the need for its sustainable usage or preservation/conservation. Furthermore, it is important to sensitize young children on the effects of human activities that cause deforestation and forest degradation, thus contributing to global climate change.
CSIR-FORIG is committed to ensuring that environmental education is bought to the door-steps of children in Ghana. Children are very receptive and quick in absorbing, keeping and disseminating information for several years. Since the forest, and for that matter the environment as a whole, is to be conserved for posterity, children are expected to be the appropriate target to be able to carry the message from generation to generation.
The aim of the schools’ outreach programme is to create awareness and educate pupils and the youth on climate change, the causes and effects and what could be done to adapt and to mitigate the adverse effects. Additionally, the programme aims at highlighting the importance of forests and trees and their role in climate change mitigation.

This activity falls within the framework of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme which was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the aim of improving access to quality education on sustainable development (e.g. about climate change and biodiversity) at all levels and in all social contexts, in order to transform society through re-orientation; an education/mechanism that would assist individuals to develop knowledge, skills, values and behaviours needed for sustainable development.

The Forest and Climate Change Division (FCCD) of the CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (CSIR-FORIG), since 2017, has been embarking on a nationwide programme on climate change and environmental sensitization campaign in basic schools.

A team of well-seasoned Research Scientists, Technologists and Technicians from the Institute who have knowledge and understanding in climate change issues, carry out this Schools’ Outreach Programme (SOP). About seven schools within the Kumasi and Ejisu Municipalities have benefited from this outreach programme. Approximately over 2000 pupils have been educated since the commencement of the programme, with about 1000 trees planted on the various schools’ premises.

The SOP was however suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in various restrictions and closure of schools. After almost two years of deferment of the SOP, the outreach team led by Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Djaney Djagbletey was able to organize an outreach programme on the 29th of October 2021 at the Asokore Mampong M/A JHS ‘A’ School at Askore Mampong in Kumasi. One hundred and twenty-three (123) pupils had the opportunity of learning about the forest and its benefits as well as climate change, its causes, effects and actions that can be taken to reduce its negative effects.

PowerPoint presentations were followed by tree planting exercises together with the representative of the Municipal Director of Education, the Circuit Supervisor, the Headmaster, Teachers and pupils of the school. Approximately 35 trees were planted on the school’s compound. Species planted included Blighia sapida, Milletia thonningii, Polyathia glauca, Bauhinia varieta among others. The programme was successful and an excursion to the tree nursery at CSIR-FORIG, Fumesua and the Bobiri Forest and butterfly sanctuary at Kubease is to follow in due course.

It is expected that the broad impact would ultimately be country-wide. Additionally,
the practical experience acquired will go a long way to create awareness in the children and foster their interest in environmental conservation. Finally, such sensitization and awareness-raising activities will serve to boost the visibility of CSIR-FORIG locally and internationally.

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Who We Are

Forestry Research Institute of Ghana is one of the 13 institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is located at Fumesua near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. It started as a research unit within the Forestry Department in 1962. It was fully established as a research institute and named FOREST PRODUCTS RESEARCH INSTITUTE (FPRI) under the then Ghana Academy of Sciences in 1964 and in 1968 placed under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Contact Us

The Director
Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, P. O. Box UP 63 KNUST
Kumasi, Ghana

Tel :+233-(0)3220-60123/60373
Fax :+233-(0)3220-60121
Email : [email protected]