World Environment Day 2020
3 March is designated as the UN World Wildlife Day. The day is dedicated to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. World Wildlife Day 2020 was celebrated under the theme “Sustaining all life on Earth“, encompassing all wild animal and plant species as key components of the world’s biodiversity. This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 14 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments on alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life both on land and below water to halt biodiversity loss.
The Society collaborated with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana and the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, the University of Ghana to organise a set of activities. Activities planned were arts/photo competitions, photo exhibition and an outdooring of a museum at the Shai Hill Resource Reserve. Prior to implementing the activities, the event was registered at the WWD website by the Society.
The arts and photography competition were organised for people between the ages of 8-17 and 18-27, respectively starting from 10th-28th February and winners announced and awarded in a ceremony to be held at the Shai Hills Resource Reserve on 3rd March. Unfortunately, we received only 3 entries from both categories as at 28th February 2020. As such, the competition was cancelled however, the participants were given educational materials as consolation prices and joined the team to Shai. On the 3rd March, 8 school children and their teacher from the Wisdom Ways Academy, 3 GWS volunteers and competition participants joined the team to Shai for the out-dooring of an archaeological/historical museum and a wildlife photo exhibition.
On arrival, a welcome address was given by the CEO of the Wildlife Division at about 10 am. This was followed by an introduction of the Chair. Shortly after a response from the Chair and a message from the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, it started to rain heavily. Activities were halted and continued at about 12 am with the photo exhibition and visit the refurbished museum. For the photo exhibition, GWS exhibited photos of some wildlife species from Ghana including the Talbotiella gentii and the Hooded Vulture, their importance, the threats they face and what we can do to help minimise the threats. The Society organised sessions to educate and raise awareness on wildlife among participants. Participants including chiefs took photos with the action actions as a means of promoting the theme and WWD on their social media handles. The event was scheduled to end by 4 pm but due to heavy rainfall on the day, it was cut short and by 1 pm we had ended.
The event brought together about 600 school children and teachers, local communities, chiefs and elders, CSOs and several government agencies in the country.