Celebrated every year on June 5, World Environment Day is the United Nations’ biggest annual event for positive environmental action to encourage worldwide awareness about the need to protect the planet.

To mark the 2019 World Environment Day, the Green Republic Project in partnership with UNICEF Ghana and the Embassy of Germany in Ghana have  embarked on a tree planting exercise in some selected schools across the country. 

The initiative which took off simultaneously at the Akporman M/A Model Primary and Junior High School, Abokobi, in the Greater Accra Region and the Dakpema Primary School in Tamale, Northern Region saw staff of the three organisations join pupils and teachers to plant a variety of tree seedlings aimed at raising  the awareness of children in protecting their environment.

Representatives of the bodies took turns to educate the pupils on the benefit of trees to the environment, especially in curbing air pollution.

UNICEF’s Representative in Ghana, Mrs Anne-Claire Dufay, advised the pupils to keep their surroundings clean and safe.

UNICEF is committed to sustaining and protecting the environment as it is key to fulfilling the rights of children and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Convener of the Green Republic Project, Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, explained that to secure a healthy future environment and climate children must be made aware of some the basic things that can be beneficial and harmful.

According to the United Nations, globally, 93% of all children breathe air that contains higher concentrations of pollutants than the World Health Organization (WHO) considers safe to human health. As a result, 600,000 children die prematurely each year because of air pollution.

The theme of World Environment Day 2019 is #BeatAirPollution, calling on governments, industry, communities and individuals to take action to explore renewable energy and green technologies and improve the air quality in cities and regions across the world.

The Green Republic Project is a youth-driven initiative geared towards the planting of about 20 million trees across Ghana by the year 2028.

The initiative, according to the initiators is a creative response to the challenge of climate crisis threatening human existence and development.