Galamsey Crisis: UPDN calls for environmental justice on World Press Freedom Day

Galamsey Crisis: UPDN calls for environmental justice on World Press Freedom Day

As the world marks World Press Freedom Day, the United Press for Development Network (UPDN) is urging journalists to stand up for environmental justice in the face of Ghana’s devastating Galamsey crisis.

Galamsey, illegal mining, is ravaging Ghana’s ecosystem, and UPDN says biased media coverage and political interference are exacerbating the problem.

Despite Ghana’s vibrant democracy and diverse media landscape, politicians’ influence over media outlets is leading to self-censorship and a lack of accountability.

UPDN President Kofi Asante Mensah says, “Journalism has a critical role to play in addressing environmental challenges. We must shed light on the ecological devastation caused by Galamsey and advocate for sustainable solutions.”

UPDN is committed to promoting environmental justice through unbiased reporting, investigative journalism, and policy advocacy.

The organization is urging media practitioners to resist censorship and political interference, and to prioritize the preservation of Ghana’s natural heritage.

Read UPDN’s full statement below

World Press Freedom Day 2024

UPDN Stands for Environmental Justice Amid Ghana’s Galamsey Crisis

[Accra – Ghana, 02/05/24] – As the world commemorates World Press Freedom Day under the theme “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis,” the United Press for Development Network (UPDN) underscores the critical role of journalism in addressing environmental challenges, particularly in Ghana where illegal mining, locally known as “Galamsey,” poses a grave threat to the nation’s ecosystem.

Ghana, celebrated for its vibrant democracy and pluralist media landscape, finds itself at a crossroads where environmental degradation fueled by Galamsey activities demands urgent attention. While the country enjoys a diverse media environment, the prevalence of media outlets owned or influenced by politicians has led to biased coverage and, in some cases, self-censorship to avoid repercussions from the government.

Amid this media landscape, the environmental crisis driven by Galamsey persists unchecked. Galamsey operations, characterized by illegal and irresponsible mining practices, not only ravage the land but also pollute water bodies, destroy biodiversity, and endanger the health and livelihoods of local communities. Despite efforts to curb these activities, the involvement of influential political figures in the mining sector has complicated regulatory enforcement and perpetuated environmental harm.

UPDN condemns the exploitation of media platforms to downplay or ignore the environmental consequences of Galamsey. We call for responsible and impartial journalism that sheds light on the ecological devastation caused by illegal mining, holds accountable those responsible, and advocates for sustainable solutions to protect Ghana’s environment for future generations.

On this World Press Freedom Day, UPDN reaffirms its commitment to promoting environmental justice through unbiased reporting, investigative journalism, and advocacy for policies that prioritize the preservation of Ghana’s natural heritage.

We urge media practitioners to embrace their role as guardians of truth and champions of environmental sustainability, standing firm against censorship and political interference to ensure that the pressing issue of Galamsey receives the attention it deserves.

About UPDN:
United Press for Development Network (UPDN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting press freedom, media development, and sustainable development across Africa. Through capacity building, advocacy, and networking, UPDN empowers journalists and media organizations to uphold professional standards, foster accountability, and advance the public interest.

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Signed

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