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Include tree planting clause in road construction contracts •Green Republic Project Convener

The Ministry of Roads and Highways, has been urged to develop a policy where contracts awarded to road con­tractors will include a clause that will make them responsible for the planting of trees along the road.

This, according to the conve­ner and founder of the Green Republic Project, Mr Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, would help mitigate the impact of climate change and reduce carbon emission.

“I will encourage the Minister of roads to come out with a policy where every contractor who is giv­en a contract to construct a road must ensure that there is a clause in the contract which will make the contractor responsible for planting a certain number of trees after construction,” Mr Osei-Darkwa said.

He made the statement at the 3rd edition of the annual climate benefit ball and fundraising event organised by the Green Republic Project held at the Labadi Beach Hotel on Saturday.

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The event which was on the theme, “Reversing the climate trends, no future without trees” brought together Civil Society Or­ganisations (CSOs), climate change activists and advocates, Heads of State institutions and members of the diplomatic community.

The Green Republic Project is an indigenous Ghanaian based non-profit organisation founded on the knowledge and firm belief that tree remains the most cost-ef­ficient nature-based solution to capture carbon.

Mr Osei-Darkwa making reference to a press release issued by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on May 17, 2023 indicating a surge in global temperatures likely to be recorded in the next five years underscored the essence of the planting of trees “in our surroundings because trees remain the best coolants of the earth.”

Furthermore, he lamented the deforestation of the country’s forest reserves by the activities of humans and its impact on the environment, and therefore called for attitudinal change for its resto­ration.

According to Mr Osei-Darkwa, the Green Republic Project was determined to create awareness about sustainable environmen­tal practices among Ghanaians, especially, the youth through its “Engaging the future” campaign series.

He also stressed on the impor­tance of partnership and collab­orations in order to address the current global climate and environ­mental crisis saying “I am of the strongest of opinions that political technical and financial solutions alone will not solve the global climate and environmental crisis we find ourselves in.”

“I am of the view that all three must point to interactive knowl­edge as the way forward,” he added.

Likewise, he appealed to the media to use its platform to set climate change agenda by giving climate and environmental-related stories front page headlines and editorials in order to generate discussions.

Mr Osei-Darkwa said the target of the fund raising was to help the Green Republic Project visit 20 schools across the country by the end of the year through its “En­gaging the future” campaign series by the end of the year.

Additionally, he said it was also to raise the tree count of the Green Republic Project from 56,000 to 100,000 by the planting season in September this year.

Delivering the keynote address, the Australia High Commissioner to Ghana, Mrs Berenice Ow­en-Jones, lauded the government for its effort in the fight towards climate change and the reduction of carbon emission.

She also bemoaned the defor­estation of the country’s forest reserves and urged the citizenry to desist from such acts as it could prevent Ghana from keeping glob­al temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius as benchmarked at the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.

Mrs Owen-Jones declared Aus­tralia’s readiness to partner Ghana in its quest to mitigate the effect of climate change and reduce carbon emission.

An award was presented to the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) under its leadership of Mr Sammy Awuku for its continuous support towards climate change.

Other organisations that received recognition were the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Kasa­preko Company Limited, and Dotcom Logistics.

BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY

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