Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Friday, cautioned the public against indiscriminate cutting of trees.
She said such actions retarded the collective action towards the restoration of degraded lands across the country.
To that end, Ms Ayorkor Botchway called for the inculcation of the value of planting and nurturing trees and its associated benefits to increase Ghana’s forests in the youth.
“Planting trees will capture carbon dioxide to reduce the temperature increases, fertilize degraded lands and recharge groundwater tables,” she said at a ceremony, where she planted a cocoa, (nkosuo tree) seedling in commemoration of the Green Ghana day.
The event happened at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where directors and staff of the ministry converged to mark the occasion.
The Green Ghana initiative was launched last year, 2021, and is aimed at planting over five million trees to preserve and protect the country’s forest cover and the environment at large.
The annual event has “Mobilising for a Greener Future” as this year’s theme.
The 2022 edition of Green Ghana Day was launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Accra International Conference Centre.
It is expected to see the planting of 20 million trees of different species across the country.
During today’s tree planting event, Ms Ayorkor Botchway stressed the need to restore the country’s lost forest cover.
“There is an urgent need to reverse the trend and restore our forest resources as much as possible back to their original state. We do not have tomorrow or the day after tomorrow to do this. We must act now,” she said.
The Minister said to show the Ministry’s commitment to the national initiative, it was planting trees at the headquarters and in its affiliated institutes such as the Foreign Service Institute, Adu Lodge, and all Passport Application Centres.
“As trapping of our commitment, the ministry will adopt an area designated by the ministry of land and natural resources to plant trees on an annual basis.
“Officers in the ministry will be provided with tree seedlings to plant in their homes, farms and neighbourhood,” she said.
Ms Ayorkor Botchway noted that the Government was determined to ensure the survival of the 20 million trees planted.
She lauded the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for organising the event, which she described and “timely and appropriate.”
The Minister said the exercise provided the opportunity for the citizenry to reconsider their actions that had contributed to global warming adding, that, “global warming is an existential threat to humanity and one of the most pressing issues confronting our civilization.”
She, therefore, appealed to all and sundry to partake in the event as it required the efforts of everyone to make it a success.
Mr Ramses Cleland, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry said the annual exercise intended to enhance ongoing afforestation programmes and see to the sustainable exploitation of forest resources.
“Indeed, we are doing so through several policy interventions. The attempt to regulate and sanitise the public and forest industry is one such to help keep our forest cover and reserves intact,” he said.
Meanwhile, Parliament did not hold sitting today, Friday, June 10, 2022, to enable the Speaker and parliamentarians to partake in the exercise both in Accra and their respective constituencies.
By Elsie Appiah-Osei, GNA