10 May

Article By: Jaden Bali, YRE National Competition 2024 (Category: 15-18 years)

Biodiversity refers to all living organisms that keep an ecosystem balanced. These could include animals, plants and microorganisms. If one or more organisms are affected, it causes the ecosystem to be imbalanced and this is known as biodiversity loss.         

In Ghana there are some activities that cause biodiversity loss. One of the main causes of biodiversity loss in Ghana is destruction of plants. Activities involving this include deforestation and slash and burn agriculture. When loggers cut down trees without replacing them, it affects these trees as well as animals and human beings because trees are known for releasing oxygen into the atmosphere and reducing carbon dioxide which enables living organisms such as humans and animals to breathe.         

Slash and burn agriculture also contributes to biodiversity loss. Slash and burn agriculture is a method whereby plant remains after cutting down trees are burnt to make way for land. This is a bad act as it contributes to air pollution. It releases carbon into the atmosphere to be more specific. The fires can also spread in forests and kill certain animals which can destroy certain species.

The yellow back duiker and the African grey parrot are endangered species in Ghana

Hunting is one of the most common activities in Ghana that causes biodiversity loss. This is due to the fact that animals are being killed for reasons like consumption or clothing. Though animals are needed for stuff like this, It is better we use plants for most of these basic needs.

The demand for fuel in Ghana has become very high. This brings about activities such as mining and burning fossil fuels. Sources of fuels like coal can be found beneath water bodies and while extracting them, some spill in the water which pollutes the water therefore risking our lives as we drink from it. In doing so, these fossil fuels are later burnt. This explains that the demand for fossil fuels contributes to biodiversity loss greatly.

We can stop biodiversity loss through activities like biodiversity conservation which means how you protect the organisms that make up an environment. You can also avoid the use of pesticides on plants to ensure they do not get destroyed.          

We must also plant more trees to keep the oxygen in our environment and emissions must be reduced to prevent climate change. In this situation, we must use affordable and clean energy, take climate action and protect life below water and on land.           

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