A Ghana Green Programme (GGP) has been launched with a target of planting five million trees to mark the day on June 11, 2021.
The initiative forms part of the efforts by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) and the Forestry Commission to encourage Ghanaians to plant more trees to preserve and protect the country’s forest cover and the environment.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, yesterday launched the Green Ghana Programme as part of activities to mark this year’s International Day of Forests in the country.
Day of Forests
The International Day of Forests was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
To commemorate the day, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organise activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.
Mr Abu Jinapor said to ensure the success of the programme and to get all Ghanaians involved, the tree planting exercise would see President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, and the Chief Justice, Mr Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, plant a tree each on June 11.
Other high-profile personalities who will take part in the exercise are the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and the Overlord of Dagbon Kingdom, Yaa-Naa Abukari II, as well as all the heads of other traditional areas.
Mr Jinapor explained that the rationale behind the planting of five million trees in Ghana formed part of a strategy and a programme to embark on aggressive afforestation to protect forests and the environment in Ghana.
He said the initiative was a joint responsibility for which more broad-based support was needed to address the adverse degradation of the country’s forests and ecosystem.
“To achieve our goal of protecting our forests and ecosystem, we will see to the planting of five million trees, which is significant by all standards, to help raise national consciousness of the need to protect the environment and the forests,” he said.
According to him, the President had a vision for the FC and the forestry sector which required that the FC worked with all stakeholders to increase the country’s forest cover and ensure the protection of the environment.
“As Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, I am looking forward to working with the Chief Executive and directors of the FC as well as staff of FC across the country for us to be able to realise the vision of the President and the aspiration of the Ghanaian people so that we can preserve our ecosystem. This will help Ghana to become a worthy and responsible member of the international community in the issues relating to forestry in the world,” he said.
He gave an assurance that enough preparatory measures and plans had been put in place to ensure the success of the tree planting exercise.
“With the success of the exercise, we hope to receive more funding from corporate Ghana and green world in order that a day will come in our Ghana where in a day, all of us in Ghana can mobilise ourselves to plant 100 million trees in a day and nurture them to maturity.”
“My view is that we also plant commercial trees such as shea, wawa, rosewood so they become an investment so that down the road, future generations will be able to harvest these trees and it will promote the economy of Ghana,” he said.
Ghana’s forest area
The forest area of Ghana is estimated at 9.17 million hectares, accounting for about 40 per cent of the total national land.
The state of the forest reserves indicates that there is a general increase in forest disturbance from the wetter to the drier forest areas. About 14 per cent of the total permanent forest estates in Ghana are without adequate forest cover.