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Akufo-Addo to Ghanaians: Planting 20 million trees attainable, let’s join forces to achieve it

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources anticipates that Ghanaians will plant 20 million trees this year after the successful maiden edition of the project made possible the planting of seven million seedlings

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the target of planting 20 million trees set by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, is attainable if every person living in Ghana joins in the effort to achieve it.

Globally, President Akufo-Addo says “some 1.6 billion people depend on forest for their livelihoods and in Ghana, some 85% of the population rely on forest resources for subsistence to satisfy their socio-cultural needs”.

Addressing a ceremony at the Efua Sutherland park in Accra on the “Mobilising for a Greener Future”, to mark the 2022 edition of the Green Ghana Day, President Akufo-Addo, said “despite the importance of the forest to human existence, our forests are depleting at an alarming rate”.

“Some 18 years ago, half of the earth’s surface was covered by forest. Today, with an estimated forest area of four billion hectares, forest cover less than 30% of the world’s surface”.

“In the last three decades alone, the world has lost one billion and 37 million, 846 thousand, 602 arches of forest, more than 10% of the current total forest area,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“More troubling is the current date that show that globally, we are losing 150 arches of rain forest every single minute, 200,000 acres a day and 79 million a year and this is just rain forest,” he added.

Forest cover

To deal with this challenging situation, President Akufo-Addo noted that his administration has “embarked on an aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme aimed at restoring our lost forest cover and halting the current rate of deforestation”.

“It is in this spirit that I call on each and every one of you, whether you are a Ghanaian or not, in so far as you are in Ghana, to join us today (10 June) to plant at least, 20 million trees,” Akufo-Addo said.

“I call on Members of Parliament, members of Corporate Ghana, traditional leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, judges, workers, farmers, bankers, students, religious leaders, traders, civil servants, public servants, members of the diplomatic corps and indeed, every person living in Ghana as well as those visiting Ghana on Green Ghana Day, to help us plant these trees,” he added.

“Together, let us build a greener future, for current and future generations of Ghanaians and mankind,” Akufo-Addo further stated.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, in his remarks noted the 2022 nationwide tree planting exercise will see 10 million of the 20 million trees being planted in forest reserves across the country.

The remaining 10 million will be planted in unforest reserves including water sheds, boundaries, office compounds, sites within communities such as parks, roadsides, homes, Churches, Mosques, schools and other significant areas.

“Given the very ambitious nature of our target, we have had to mobilize 20 million seedlings, distribute them, get them planted and develop a framework to nurture them to maturity” Abu Jinapor said.

 Target

Statistics shows that the country has lost some 100,000 arches of natural forest in the last decade alone.

The target of the Green Ghana day 2022 is to plant at least 20 million trees on the Green Ghana day which is slated for today Friday, 10 June 2022.

The Green Ghana initiative seeks to; Create enhanced national awareness on the necessity for collective action towards restoration of degraded landscape in the country, inculcate in youth the value of planting and nurturing trees and their associated benefits, mitigate watershed, enhance livelihoods towards communities through engagement in the production of trees seedlings and beautify our communities and environment.

Wilberforce Asare

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