As part of efforts in lacing up boots for the 2023 edition of ‘Green Ghana’ Day, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has called for an increased tree planting on the part of every Ghanaian to strengthen the country’s efforts in fighting climate change.
The Technical Director for Forestry at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Joseph Osiakwan, made the call when he took a tour of the Greater Accra Region to monitor seedlings planted by associations, institutions, the Ministry and the Forestry Commission in 2022.
Speaking on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Lands responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, he stressed that embarking on aggressive afforestation will also help to reduce carbon emissions, protect forests and the environment.
The team on the monitoring tour first visited Chipa Forest Reserve (Compartment 28) where trees were planted by Deloitte & Touche, and the Centre of Scientific Research into Plant Medicine, and Chipa Forest Reserve (Compartment 49) where trees were by Total Energy.
They also visited Chipa Forest Reserve (Compartment 57) with trees planted by Newstar Company and Shai Hills to inspect trees planted by the Forestry Commision and other stakeholders.
Mr Osiakwan was impressed with how well the seedlings had grown so far, applauding the Forestry Commission for ensuring that Foresters nurtured the green seedlings to maturity.
However, he said the depletion of the country’s forest reserve mandates all Ghanaians to play an active role in tree planting.
The Technical Director stressed that the fight against climate change must be a fight against deforestation and forest degradation. Although, he said Africa contributes the least to climate change, which is 4% of global emissions, it was crucial to direct energies and efforts to combat it.
On reasons for collaborating with certain companies like Total Energy and the likes in the afforestation agenda, Mr Osiakwan explained that it is aimed at helping to sequestrate the carbon some of these companies produce.
“With Kalpowar and Total Energy, you all know the kind of work they do. Total Energy, for instance, they’re into oil, and you know how the oil too creates carbon dioxide… So for companies to offset their carbon footprints, we have to plant trees somewhere else to be able to sequestrate the carbon that they produce. That’s the essence of Kalpowar and Total Energy collaboration and they’re contributing towards the global efforts aimed at reducing climate change,” he indicated.
Mr Osiakwan added that it will also catalyse stakeholders to discuss and commit to programmes, investments and policies to contribute to efforts of mitigating the effect of climate change.
He also reiterated that increasing the tree stock in the forest especially, in Greater Accra will help mitigate carbon emissions and combat climate change since there exist many factories and cars producing carbon monoxide.
Green Street project
The Technical Director also indicated that the new flagship programme, ‘Green Street Project’ is intended to plant trees in the median and avenues of the regional capitals of the country
“This is a genius project; we have to plant trees within the city themselves. We have started the ‘Green Street Project’ from the Tetteh-Quarshie, Spanner to PRESEC. The project is aimed at the beautification and mordenisation of all major cities in Ghana including the capital cities – Accra, Takoradi, Kumasi, and Tamale, among others,” he noted.
He further urged the youth and corporate Ghana to leverage this year’s ‘Green Ghana’ Day slated for June to make tree planting a daily activity to fight climate change.