The cost of destruction as a result of fuel extraction, poor agricultural practices, industrial expansion and unplanned urbanization is estimated at about six per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP).
Mr Isaac Osei, Ashanti Regional Director of the Agency, said this was completely unacceptable and could not be allowed to continue.
He said it was important for the people to demonstrate more commitment and share in the responsibility of promoting environmental sustainability to augment socio-economic progress.
He said there was the need for strict adherence to bye-laws on the environment.
Mr Osei said this when delivering a paper at a joint conference organized by the Ghana Geographical Association (GGA) and the Ghana Geography Teachers’ Association (GGTA) in Kumasi on the “State of Ghana’s environment and the relevance of environmental sustainability.”
He warned that unhealthy practices and careless disregard for environmental safety could be counterproductive to achieving the Millennium Development Goal on environmental sustainability.
Mr Osei said about 72 per cent of the whole land area of Ghana was currently considered vulnerable to desertification.
He invited the two Associations to work together with the EPA to educate the public and help safeguard the environment.
Dr Eva Tagoe-Darko, National President of the GGA, said the nation must act decisively to tackle the degradation for the benefit posterity.
She said “our very existence is linked to the environment and, therefore, it is a shared responsibility and the duty of all to help to protect it.”