Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has encouraged Ghanaians to get involved in the Green Ghana Initiative to sustain the environment.
He said the exercise was to contribute to the global efforts in halting the climate change crisis that had reached a tipping point and needed a revolutionary measure to address.
Mr Jinapor gave encouragement at the Green Ghana Day 2022 event, where the Diplomatic Corps and other dignitaries planted their tree seedlings at the Ghana Seismological Observatory Centre at the Achimota Forest
Reserve near the Forestry Commission.
All the tree seedlings planted by the diplomats during the 2021 edition were doing well, when the Ghana News Agency visited the site. They were labeled with the flags of the various countries for proper identification.
According to the Forestry Commission 120 tree seedlings were made available to be planted including Tree of Life and Mahogany seedlings.
The 2022 edition of the exercise was on the theme: “Mobilizing for a Greener Future.”
This year, the country targets to plant at least 20 million tree seedlings with a budget of GH₵9.6 million.
Last year, the government had a target of five million tree seedlings to be planted but it was exceeded by two million, making it a total of seven million seedlings planted.
The Tree seedlings to be planted include native timber species, shade trees, multi-purpose leguminous trees, ornamentals, and fruit trees.
The initiative formed part of the government’s aggressive afforestation programme to restore the lost forest cover and contribute to the global efforts to fight climate change.
It is also intended to create enhanced national awareness on the necessity for collective action towards the restoration of degraded landscapes in the country and inculcate in the youth the values of planting and nurturing trees.
The Minister said the climate change crisis needed urgent and dramatic steps to be able to reverse that trend and that was why the land and forest component of climate action was crucial.
He said there was a global effort to ensure that land and forest climate action contribute significantly to halting climate change.
Mr Jinapor commended the Diplomatic Corps for honouring the invitation for the exercise and the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio for Chairing the Committee responsible for the project.
Mr John Allotey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, said the survival rate of last year’s exercise was 85 per cent nationwide six months after planting.
He said the Commission appreciated the endorsement received from Parliament, Judiciary, security agencies, traditional leaders, religious leaders, Corporate Ghana, and the Civil Society Organisations.
He said this year’s event had two proven approaches in achieving the 20 million targets, which was 50 per cent (10 million) of the seedlings to be planted in degraded forest reserves to improve the forest stock.
Meanwhile, the other 50 per cent (10 million) will be planted in schools, homes, hospitals, offices, churches, and other public places.
He said the Commission had made available for distribution 20 million seedlings across the country to ensure they achieve this ambitious target.
The CEO commended the media for their support in pushing the tree seedlings planting to sustain the environment.
Madam Claudia Turbay Quintero, the Colombia Ambassador to Ghana, said the Corps decided to honour the invitation for the exercise because of the conviction that taking care of the plant was key.
She said, “we believe in Ghana, and we support not only through our governments but also personally we believe in protecting the environment.”
Also present at the Ghana Seismological Observatory Centre were Mr Benito Owusu Bio, the Deputy Minister of Land and Natural Resources, Dr Joyce Aryee, The Chairperson of the Appiatse Support Fund Committee and Kwaku Sakyi Addo, the National Communication Authority Board Chairman.