The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is complementing the government’s Green Ghana agenda with the launch of a one-million-dollar ‘OneTreePlanted’ programme to plant five million trees by 2024 to restore degraded areas in the Black Volta landscape.
The programme which is under the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grant Programme (GEF/SGP) was launched at Maluwe in the Bole Bamboi District of the Savannah region.
It will enhance capacity and supply various seedlings including cassia, mahogany, cashew and mango to selected communities in the Black Volta landscape for planting.
Angela Lusigi, the UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, urged the beneficiary communities to plant at least one tree and maintain it for the people and the planet
Dr Lusigi noted that the tree planting was UNDP’s contribution to supporting the communities to invest in sustainable land management and the conservation of the Black Volta Basin ecosystem.
The Chief of Maluwe (Maluwewura), Sulemana Bramani, expressed appreciation to UNDP and stated that the initiative was not only going to invest in their fuelwood, but it would improve the lives of the people.
Dr George Ortsin, the National Coordinator of the UNDP GEF Small Grant Programme in Ghana, appealed to other donors to join in the implementation of the programme.
The UNDP GEF Small Grant Programme is already supporting five communities in the Bole Bamboi District with agroforestry and the OneTreePlanted Programme is to complements the existing agroforestry initiative.
The goal of the ‘OneTreePlanted’ programme is to restore about 170 hectares of degraded areas in the Black Volta landscape to contribute to Ghana’s climate action agenda.
The Black Volta landscape is an international water ecosystem that generates clean energy from the Bui hydropower for national development. The landscape also provides a haven to globally threatened species including hippopotamus, elephants and Buffalos. It is also known that crop production from this landscape contributes 37.5% of yam, 11.3% of cassava, 17.2% of maize and 28.7% of local rice to the national totals. The area thus supports livelihood services for over one million indigenous people.
The prosperity and sustainable management of the Black Volta landscape is therefore a great priority for national development. Unfortunately, the landscape has been subjected to environmental abuses over the years.
The area experiences uncontrolled wildfire, illegal mining, uncontrolled harvesting of wood for timber and charcoal, and unsustainable farming practices. Trend analysis shows that if nothing is done, Ghana is likely to lose the potential of the Black Volta landscape as a natural resource for national development. It is very important to enhance the resilience of the communities to climate change impacts and thus reduce poverty, and this requires partnerships.
Rhodaline Abba, ISD