Former President Jerry John Rawlings has declared his extraordinary interest in environmental protection and contribute towards safeguarding it for the next generation.

The high incidence of "galamsey" or illegal mining in recent times, have been on several discussions and heated debates for some time now and has perplexed the minds of the general public in Ghana. 

Though ‘galamsey’ affects many facets of life, one area in which its impact is being felt most is the pollution of rivers and water bodies.  The extent to which rivers have been polluted exerts significant pressure on individuals who live near and depend on river bodies as source of drinking water and livelihood.

Pushed by this worrying development, Mr. Rawlings plans to hold a public symposium on the environment at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Auditorium at 5pm on Wednesday June 21, 2017, ahead of his 70th Birthday celebrations on Thursday, June 22.

Dr. Peter C. Acquah, former Executive Director of Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency, will deliver the main address on the theme “Protecting and safeguarding the national environment for generations.” 

According to a statement issued and signed by Dr. Anthony Dzegede, a member of the former President’s 70th Birthday Planning Committee noted, other panelists will be drawn from the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ghana Institution of Geoscientists (GIGS). 

The symposium is being held in honour of former President Jerry John Rawlings who has taken special interest in the protection of Ghana’s environment –. Ghana is facing many environmental challenges and it is evident that climate change will worsen the spate of environmental degradation further if some bold and urgent interventions are not made.    


The Directive Principles of State Policy of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, as they relate to the environment (Art. 36 (9) and Art. 41 (k)), have constituted the basis for the management of the environment of the country in recent years. Caring for the environment is a shared responsibility for all citizens of the country. The symposium seeks to boost continuous dialogue and awareness creation on the natural environment of the country. 

It is also noteworthy that in spite of the steady decline in the country’s environment, there have been some limited successes in the interventions made to respond to the degradation.  It is therefore imperative for Ghana to take urgent steps to reverse the decline, build on the successes made and utilize the opportunities, benefits and co-benefits to be derived in tackling environmental degradation and climate change, in particular. 

It is envisaged that the symposium will serve as a platform for Ghanaians to deepen the discourse on the need for enhanced management of the national environmental resources and their sustainable use; to illustrate that taking care of the environment is a shared responsibility; and thirdly to enhance awareness of some of the benefits, co-benefits and opportunities to be derived from addressing the environmental challenges.