The deputy minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forestry Mr Benito Owusu-Bio addressing the pressmen during a visit to the Achimota Forest. Image: MLNR.
Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, the deputy minister for Lands and Natural Resources, advises Ghanaians to plant trees while the country is still in its rainy season. While the Green Ghana Day celebration may have ended, Mr Owusu-Bio revealed exclusively to ZAMI Reports that the afforestation push is still going on and that residents can “choose free tree seedlings from some designated sites to plant.”
The Member of Parliament for the Atwima Nwabiagya North constituency says there are nurseries that offer seedlings all year round.
According to Mr Owusu-Bio, “Trees are nursed for reclamation purposes in three centres under the Alternative Livelihood Project, and those centres have seedlings that are currently mature for picking.”
“Currently, there are seedlings in four regions. The Ashanti region’s Akdinkra and Fufuom, the Brong-Ahafo region’s Tetriche, the Eastern region’s Akwatia, and the Western region’s Akotom are the places where they are located. Additionally, we have seedlings that are now ready for picking.”
Ghana’s Bonne Challenge pledge
During the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), which led to the Paris Agreement, Ghana committed to reforesting almost two million (8,97%) hectares of its lost forest cover by 2030 under the Bonn Challenge. This amounts to an area of 238,873 hectares, or around 1.05 per cent of its 22, 754,000 acres of total forestland. As a result, the nation will gain 83, 181 jobs and sequester 1,872,220 tons of carbon dioxide.
In light of this, the Green Ghana Day chairman is urging people to actively participate in tree planting throughout the year, not just on special days like the Green Ghana Day.
The Alternative Livelihood Development Programme was launched by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in 2017 as part of the Mining Community Development Scheme of the Minerals Development Fund to ensure the socio-economic development of those residing in mining communities, particularly for those who are involved in illegal mining.
The Fund then started providing one million hybrid oil palm seedlings to mining towns each year as an alternative to galamsey. This is consistent with efforts to stop illegal mining, land degradation, and the exploitation of forest reserves by illegal miners.
Green Ghana Day
On June 11, 2021, as part of Green Ghana Day, the President of the Republic of Ghana H.E. Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo organized the planting of seven million tree seedlings across the sixteen regions of Ghana. two million more than the initial budgeted amount.
‘Let’s Go Planting Day’ is a celebration to “create and enhance national awareness on the necessity of collective action towards the restoration of degraded landscape in the country, Inculcate in youth the value of planting and nurturing trees and their associated benefits, Mitigate watersheds, and Enhance livelihoods towards communities through engagement in the production of trees seedlings.”
The distribution of 22,671,696 million seedlings from the government’s nurseries was part of the 10th of June celebration in 2022, according to Owusu-Bio, the national coordinator of the Green Ghana Planning Committee, which had a preliminary goal of twenty (20) million trees.
Department heads, ministers of state, diplomats, students, singers, and all other citizens gathered at the gathering to discuss how to green the country.
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