Government has targeted the planting of 10 million tree seedlings on June 9, 2023, across the country, to mark this year’s Green Ghana Day, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, has disclosed.
The day forms part of government’s aggressive national afforestation programme to restore Ghana’s depleted forest cover.
In a statement to commemorate the International Day of Forests, in Parliament, yesterday, MrOwusu-Bio said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would launch the tree planting exercise next month.
The day set aside by the United Nations General Assembly on November 28, 2012, proclaimed March 21 each year, to mark the day.This year’s commemoration was on the theme “Forest and Health.”
MrOwusu-Bio, who is also MP forAtwimaNwabiagya North,said since assuming power in 2017, the government has instituted measures to improve on Ghana’s fast depleting forest cover.
The importance of forests and the need to protect them, MrOwusu-Bio said, has become more apparent with the fast depletion of Ghana and the world’s forest cover.
“Forests are the lungs of the earth and it’s the reason government has embarked on series of interventions to reduce the threat of deforestation and forest degradation.
“It’s to contribute to global efforts to fight climate change and its adverse impact on livelihood,” he said.
Despite these important roles forests play, MrOwusu-Bio noted human activities like agricultural expansion, illegal mining and logging, uncontrolled bush fires, population and infrastructure development pressures amongst others have contributed to forest depletion.
He said the trees that have been planted over the last two ‘editions’ of the national day, were doing well,and urged Ghanaians to embrace the event and participate in the exercise on June 9.
Ranking Member on the Lands and Forestry Committee and MP for Tamale North, AlhasanSayibuSuhuyini, commenting on the statement, said there was the need to deepen consultation and engagement with community folks, who reside along the forest reserves for them to know the importance of forests and the need to preserve them.
He underscored the need for government to rededicate itself to the fight against drivers that encourage deforestation like illegal mining, which has been the main cause of the canker in recent years.
Majority Chief Whip and Member for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh,said Parliament has a role to play in the preservation of forests by passing the requisite legislations and considering agreements like the timber utilisation lease, which is currently before the House.