Green Ghana Day: Otumfuo plants third commemorative tree

In a short address after planting his tree, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II urged Ghanaians to go all out and support the project because its benefits will be enjoyed by everyone

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, demonstrated his belief in the government’s reforestation programme on Friday (9 June) by performing the official Green Ghana tree planting for the third consecutive time.

The Asantehene, who is a chief patron of the flagship Green Ghana project, has consistently shown devotion to the life-saving project since its start in 2021. He reaffirmed his belief by launching the third edition of the project in the Ashanti Region.

Joined by dignitaries such as the deputy minister of lands and natural resources in charge of forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, the Mayor of Kumasi, Samuel Pyne, and a host of other public figures, the king planted the first tree for Green Ghana Day 2023 at the Royal Golf Course in Kumasi.

Restore forest cover

Before planting his third ceremonial tree in three years, Otumfuo inspected the two trees he planted in 2021 and 2022 to ensure that they are developing well.

The Asantehene, who was impressed by the growth of the trees, expressed his excitement and commended the government for the project, which aims to restore Ghana’s forest cover, help beautify the country and create economic value by growing cash crops.

In a short address after planting his tree, Otumfuo Osei Tutu urged Ghanaians to go all out to support the project, as its benefits will be enjoyed by all.

For his part, the deputy minister of lands commended Otumfuo for his consistent show of “commitment and selflessness” to the Green Ghana project.

“I wish to express my profound gratitude to His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for honouring our invitation to lead Asanteman to plant trees as part of the activities for Green Ghana Day,” Owusu-Bio said.

“Your Royal Majesty, when we also called on you to launch the 2023 edition of Green Ghana Day a few weeks ago, you graciously accepted the invitation despite your busy schedule. We are very grateful for your selflessness and commitment to ensure the protection and sustainable management of our natural resources,” he said.

Owusu-Bio appealed to the general public and institutions to follow the example set by Otumfuo and show equal dedication by coming out in their numbers to plant trees.

Asanteman rises to the challenge

Emphasising the planting target of ten million trees for the 2023 Green Ghana Day, Honourable Owusu-Bio said that seedlings have been made available to the public at designated locations and that the government will continue its aggressive drive towards restoring Ghana’s forest.

“Your Royal Majesty, this year, the President of the Republic has set the national target to ten million trees. This means, we expect to plant at least ten million trees on this day and Asanteman has always risen to the challenge and this year will not be an exception.

“The need to plant trees is very clear to us and we don’t have any option than to embark on an aggressive afforestation/reforestation drive to restore our lost vegetative cover and contribute to the global fight against climate change,” he said.

Owusu-Bio also entreated the public to recognise that planting trees is not a one-day exercise but a process, which must lead to the full growth of the seedling.

“As we plant the trees today, let us make conscious efforts to nurture and grow them to maturity. In many circumstances, what we plant is neglected and not catered for.

“This is the reason why the target has been reduced – to nurture what has already been planted to ensure a higher survival rate,” he said.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, said: “The oxygen available to mankind is reducing gradually, so it’s better we plant more trees for our survival. We also enjoy medicinal, nutritional and other benefits from it. We should all join it,” he said.

Green Ghana Day was introduced in 2021 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo under an aggressive national afforestation/reforestation programme to restore Ghana’s lost forest cover and to contribute to the global effort to mitigate climate change.

The maiden edition was held on 11 June 2021, when an estimated seven million tree seedlings were planted across the country.

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