He said a recent survey indicated that the range, which stretches from Asikuma to Kpedze, has the biggest potential for eco-cultural, mountain ecosystem, aquaculture, climate resilience farming systems and tourism in the country.
Mr Ortsin said this at a short ceremony to mark this years World Environment Day at Goviepe-Agodome, an environmentally friendly agro-biodiversity community in the Volta Region.
It was on the theme; Think, Eat, and Save.
The Weto Range conservation and development project, worth 500,000 dollars, was partly funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund, the GEF and the chiefs and people living along the Range.
GEF Small Grants Programme is working with 26 communities along the Range and hoped to reach 10 additional communities this year spending about 200,000 dollars.
The main aim of the project is to reflect the multi-dimensional nature of the climate change challenge and seek to minimize the incidence of poverty.
Mr Ortsin said the landscape was endowed with diversified natural resources in the form of high biodiversity, hydrological systems, rich soils, stony features and conducive climate, all of which formed a strong base for economic activities and sustainable development.
He said the Range was, however, facing challenges of habitat destruction and unsustainable farming practices and called for transformational change to reverse that negative trend.
Business as usual will not suffice. We need to bring about transformational change in the way we use the environment. Negative practices like chainsaw operations and slash and burn along the range should cease, Mr Ortsin said.
He specifically charged the newly launched Community Development and Knowledge Management for the SATOYAMA Initiative Project (COMDEKS), to ensure the conservation of natural and semi-natural habitats and ecosystem services within the landscape.
Mr Ortsin also urged COMDEKS to develop institutional capacity at the landscape level to realize the goal of integrating conservation and production in the management of the targeted landscape.
Mr David Kanyi, South-Dayi District Coordinating Director, underscored the need for all to appreciate the environment because every second of life depends on how healthy the environment is.
He said it was not enough for politicians and journalist to talk about the environment but must work towards saving it for posterity.
Madam Angela Alorwu-Tay, Afadjato-South District Chief Executive, lamented how people wasted food at home, office and at school.
She noted that about one third of all food produced ends up getting wasted in the bin and called for a change.Madam Alorwu-Tay explained that unconsumed food could be cut out through simple measures to save energy used in growing it, fuel used in transporting the produce and energy used in cooking the food.
She observed that UNDP/GEF project had transformed communities along the Range with an improved ecosystem.
Togbe Akliku Ahorney II, Volta Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, called for sober reflection on the theme for the celebration and urged political and religious leaders to lead the campaign on the protection of the environment.
Some trees were planted to commemorate the day.GNA