President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians to plant a tree in their locality in other to protect the environment, and contribute to global efforts to halt climate change.
Speaking at the 2023 edition of the “Green Ghana Day” held at the University of Ghana under the theme: “Our Forests, Our Health” President Akufo-Addo said tree planting in Ghana is part of the surest way to contribute to climate solution.
The President said his government remains committed to protecting the country’s environment, and contribute to global efforts at halting climate change.
He said Government will continue to explore all avenues to enhance the country’s forest cover through afforestation and reforestation programmes as well as protect, the natural resources through community-based management and conservation initiatives.
“Today, your contribution is to step out, take a seedling, plant it, and make sure it grows. I encourage each and every one of you, my fellow Ghanaians, and indeed, all persons living in Ghana, young and old, men and women, urban and rural, to join me on this historic day, in this national tree planting exercise” President Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo said it was important that Government revised its target downwards this year to mobilise some resources to nurture the over 23 million trees that had survived since the “Green Ghana” initiative started two years ago.
“Today, we have another opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to saving planet earth, and protecting our livelihoods,” he stated.
The President added that the theme for this year (2023), is a clarion call for the need to preserve the country’s forest for “our own survival.”
“This is a duty we own not only to the current generation, but also to generations yet unborn. We must go with the spirit of nationalism, solidarity, and most importantly, love for ourselves, our country and our planet” he added.
On the new “one student, one tree” initiative introduced by the Lands and Natural Resources ministry, President Akufo-Addo commended the ministry for birthing the idea and called on the students to embrace the initiative and participate fully in same.
“I commend the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for instituting the one student, one tree initiative alongside this “Green Ghana” project. Through this, we can inculcate the culture of tree planting in our youth and hopefully, jettison the culture of impunity that leads to the destruction of our forest” Akufo-Addo said.
“I encourage all students across the country to participate fully in this national exercise and contribute their share to the fight against climate change” President Akufo-Addo added.
Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor on his part observed that the ministry will continue to introduce interventions aimed at protecting the country’s forest reserve, the environment and the beautification of the nation’s landscapes.
“The Green Ghana Day plays a major role in all these efforts we are making. It is on this day that we awaken the consciences of the Ghanaian people about the importance of trees in our lives” Abu Jinapor said.
“It is on this day that we strive to inculcate in our people, particularly students and the youth, the culture of tree planting. It is on this day that we scale up national consciousness on tree planting” he added.
In 2021, under the leadership and direction of the President Akufo-Addo, the Green Ghana Project was launched as part of an aggressive afforestation/reforestation programme to restore the lost forest cover of Ghana and to contribute to the global effort to fight climate change.
The maiden edition of the Green Ghana Day was held on 11June 2021 during which seven (7) million tree seedlings were planted from an initial target of five (5) million.
The main objectives of the “Green Ghana Day” initiative were; “to create enhanced national awareness of the necessity for collective action towards restoration of degraded landscapes in the country.
The other objectives are to inculcate the values of planting and nurturing trees and associated benefits in the youth, to mitigate climate change, enhance livelihoods for rural communities through their engagement in the production of tree seedlings and to beautify our communities and environment.
Among the trees that are available for planting are: Timber (Eucalyptus, Mahogany, Ofram, Ceiba, Emire, Wawa, Teak, Cedrela, Mansonia, Rosewood), Fuelwood (Cassia, Acacia, Milletia, Albizia), Shade Trees (Rain Tree, Montalis, Flamboyant), Ornamentals (Polyalthia, Mimusop, Royal Palm, Weeping Willow, Ixora, Orchid Tree, Tree of Life), Fruit Trees (Mango, Coconut, Orange, Lemon, India Almond, Avocado, Cashew).
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD