The Forestry Commission Ladies Association has planted trees at Manya Jorpanya in the Greater Accra Region, as part of efforts to encourage communities to help sustain the forest.
The exercise, which formed part of the Greening Ghana Campaign, was to educate communities close to the Shai Hills Reserve, on the need to preserve the forest reserve, and to cultivate woodlots, which they could rely on for their household activities.
In all, the group planted 1,111 trees on a hectare of land donated by the divisional chief of Manya, Nene Tei Djahene Korabo IV, who was celebrating his 18th year on the throne.
The vice president of the association, Mrs. Mary Balkono, said the group’s activity reflected the commission’s vision to create and protect more forests and wildlife resources in the country.
She said the Forestry Commission could not carry out activities alone and needed the communities’ participation and support to succeed.
Mrs. Balkono said, “This particular community is close to one of our reserves and this is part of measures to prevent the community from entering the reserve for their needs. With what we are doing, they won’t have the interest to enter the reserve to cut down trees, but they will use the woodlot.”
The ladies also educated the students of the Manya Jorpanya Junior High School on the importance of trees to development, and handed over the woodlots to the school, to ensure they nurture the seedlings.
At a meeting with Nene Karabo IV, prior to the tree planting exercise, the association expressed appreciation to him for releasing land for the tree planting exercise.
He said the chiefs would ensure that the members of the community protect the environment, adding that, “There is restriction on tree cutting here. Before you cut down a tree here, you need a permit. If you go ahead without it, sanctions apply.”
Nene Karabo said he would prevent unbridled development from destroying the beauty of the community.
The Greening Ghana project was launched in 2010 to address environmental menaces such as deforestation, illegal mining and chainsaw operations and their attendant ramifications that are robbing the nation of its water bodies, forest reserves, wildlife habitation and other natural resources.
The project also seeks to ensure the restoration of wildlife habitats and forest reserves by planting trees in communities and along water bodies.