What price do we put on the environment?

Ecosystem services are the benefits provided by ecosystems that contribute to making human life both possible and worth living.(uknea.unep-wcmc.org). For instance, one can go to Krokrobite beach and enjoy the  nice view of the ocean which is not traded in the market.

Bees work very hard to pollinate plants but do we know the value of the services they provide?

The problem with ecosystem services is that, although people value them, no one person has an incentive to pay to maintain  the services. For example if a wetland is filled to construct a house and results in flooding affecting innocent people. The environment or these people are generally not compensated for the damages they suffer. Watch  Pavan Sukhdev,  nature’s banker talk more about putting value on nature.https://www.ted.com/talks/pavan_sukhdev_what_s_the_price_of_nature?language=en

Wet lands reduce impacts from floods, they are  ground water chargers,  provide homes for wild life; help mitigate against climate change and  serve as purifiers for pollutants in the soil.Two  examples of sustainable use of a wetlands in Ghana are Pambros salt factory at Weija and Bojo beach resort.

Bojo beach hotel

Bojo beach hotel

Pambros  salt factory  is a great place  for bird watching.

Pambros salt factory at Weija

Pambros salt factory at Weija

Unfortunately, so many wetlands lands areas are being encroached on and  destroyed due to scarcity of  land. Areas such as Glife, some parts of Sowutoum, Santa Maria, Awoshie and Aplaku are affected by flooding  due to filling of wetlands . An officer from the Ga Central Municipal Assembly mentioned that the  June 3rd flood disaster claimed about 7 lives in Sowutoum.  The Metropolitan Municipal District Assemblies are worried because they are the first call of support when people are affected by floods. Several attempt on their side  to educate people to stop building in wetland areas have been fruitless.

The picture  below is the Densu river basin where the Ole River flows  into. Visiting the site, one can see people filling and  developing on the buffer zone.


Anytime there is any  little rain these areas get flooded yet people continue to build .

Densu River basin


An illegal building on a wetland

An illegal building on a wetland

The cost of destroying a wetland should be imposed, in various ways, on those who are responsible to eliminate environmental impacts.

Should  forest, wetlands, bee pollination, coral ecosystem  be converted into financial products to help ensure sustainable ecosystem?

Please send us your comments.