The Director of the Resource Management Support Centre of the Forestry Commission, Dr Samuel Ayensu, has made reference to the Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 6 (GLSS 6) Report to call attention to the threats to the country’s biodiversity and how such threats are affecting millions of Ghanaians who rely on it for a living.

The threats obviously are human activities like deforestation, land degradation and pollution that result from such activities as galamsey and unconventional methods of fishing and hunting.

The GLSS 6 was conducted from October 2012 to October 2013 and has been followed by the seventh from October 2016 to October 2017 and the ongoing eighth round, which commenced from June this year and yet to end in August 2024.

 As such, the GLSS 6 is not the latest such report on statistics on different aspects of living conditions of Ghanaians, giving reliable indicators for examining the socioeconomic conditions of households, yet that report can be deemed as relevant today as it was at the time it was released.

The specific figures may have changed but the conditions may rather have worsened.

The new 9th Edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines biodiversity as the existence of a large number of different kinds of animals and plants which make a balanced environment.

The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation in the US includes humans and human cultural diversity as a part of biodiversity and this is the crust of the matter.

God has given humans the environment, including the air, land, vegetation and water resources, to exploit for a living but it seems different peoples have different approaches to the nature-sanctioned exploit.

Thank God that there are experts to guide what to do on every field of human endeavour.

It is heart-warming to learn how in other jurisdictions people obey these experts and regulatory bodies and the related laws but the deepest of pity in our part of the world as things are the direct opposite.

For instance, there are laws that regulate mining in the country, yet some people have made it their entrenched decision that they will do galamsey damn the consequences.

And so there are the degradation of the country’s land and pollution of its water resources.

One of the results is that those in the rural areas whose livelihoods are threatened or totally destroyed would leave for the urban area.

In the 1960s, some 71 per cent of Ghanaians lived in the rural area but life was good.

Today, it is said that roughly 19 million Ghanaians (58 per cent) live in the urban area and life is hard for most of them.

Probably what is the issue is that most people in the country do not understand how to treat the biodiversity to have a balanced environment.

The importance of the country’s biodiversity should prompt individuals, chiefs, other community leaders, the district assemblies, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders like the security organisations, parliament, the executive and the judiciary to stand up to the occasion and ensure some control and conservation.

We want to borrow the words of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation to say that it is within the power of Ghanaians to change our actions to help ensure the survival of species and the health and integrity of our ecological systems.