The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has launched the 2023 edition of Green Ghana Day in Kumasi with a call on Ghanaians to support the national tree planting exercise.
He noted that Green Ghana Day, scheduled for June 9th, 2023, provides a chance for Ghanaians to showcase patriotism, demonstrate a dedication to the conservation of the nation’s forest resources and demonstrate the desire to leave a richer and greener Ghana for the next generation of children.
Otumfuo commended the government for implementing the Green Ghana Project and emphasized the importance of trees in environmental conservation, climate change mitigation and planet survival.
He pledged to plant 2.5 million trees in the Ashanti Region to safeguard Lake Bosomtwe.
He bemoaned the willful loss of forests caused by unlawful mining and logging, adding that the chiefs and people cannot pretend to be unaware of those responsible for the devastation.
“The government cannot accomplish it on its own. We must all get involved and support the government in dealing with these issues,” he noted.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor, stated that there has been no systematic attempt to recover the country’s lost forest cover over the years.
He said the country lost 160,210 ha of forest between 2010 and 2015. However, between 1963 and 2016, 157,300 ha of forest were planted.
Even though the government has been taking several measures to restore lost forest cover since 2017, the Minister stated that the Green Ghana Project was necessary to raise national awareness of the need for collective action to restore degraded landscapes in the country, instil values of tree planting and nurturing in citizens, particularly among the younger generation, mitigate climate change, and beautify communities and the environment.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, indicated that the Ashanti Region planted the most trees on Green Ghana Days over the previous two years. He stated that more than 81 per cent of the trees planted in 2021 have survived, while 72 per cent of those planted last year have survived.
Irene Wirekoaa Osei, ISD