Mrs Stephanie S. Sullivan, the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, joined Buipewura Abdoulai Jinapor II and members of the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) to commemorate Shea Day with a tree-planting event at Damongo.
The event is a part of the Action for Shea Parklands initiative, which was launched in 2020 to preserve and protect the shea parklands across West Africa.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency quoted the Ambassador as saying that the U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), supported women’s cooperatives across northern Ghana to plant 15,000 shea trees in July, recognised as “shea month.”
Mrs Sullivan emphasised the critical need to protect shea parklands and take progressive action to reverse the effects of degradation.
“It is imperative that communities lead action at the local level – restoration begins with a clear understanding of your landscape and your needs. Each one of us here must then take action to promote climate resilience, and tree planting is a positive first step,” she said.
“The task is more complex than simply planting trees. However, the restorative process requires our long-term investment in the management and growth of the trees we plant today and into the future.”
She expressed the U.S. Government’s commitment to contribute to global climate solutions, highlighting the U.S.’ return to the Paris Climate Agreement and that the U.S. was supporting the global one trillion tree initiative, which sought to conserve, restore, and grow that number of trees by 2030.
The Ambassador said the USAID supported GSA members to undertake cross-regional activities such as tree planting, parkland management training, advocacy, and social media campaigns in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo under the Sustainable Shea Initiative (SSI).
The Sustainable Shea Initiative is an $18 million five-year programme that promotes the sustainable expansion of the shea industry in Ghana, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Mali, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso.
It also helps to increases the incomes of hundreds of thousands of rural women.
In Ghana, 20,000 trees would be planted across five northern regions this year alone.