With a month to observe Green Ghana Day, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has called on Ghanaians to rally behind the government, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Forestry Commission and other partners and stakeholders to make the day a resounding success.
That, the Minister indicated, is a collective responsibility to leave future generations and their communities with richer, better and more valuable forests and wildlife endowment than what was inherited.
He said forests play a crucial role in the sustainability of the planet and human survival, by absorbing carbon dioxide and contributing to reductions in emissions.
“Unfortunately, the world’s forests are being depleted at an alarming rate. For example, since 1900, Ghana has lost over 8,000,000ha of her forest cover, with almost 1,000,000ha lost in the last few years. Globally, it is estimated that the world lost over 10,000,000ha of tropical forests in 2020 alone,” he noted in a release.
The Minister added that these had contributed to the phenomena of global warming and climate change, with adverse consequences, such as frequent droughts, perennial floods, temperature rise, erratic rainfall patterns, food insecurity and poverty, evident all around the world.
“According to experts, the climate crisis is reaching a tipping point, and requires urgent and collective action to safeguard our planet,” he stated.
“To reverse this disturbing situation, the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in 2021, launched the Green Ghana Project, as part of an aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme being embarked on by Government.
“The key objectives of the Project are to create enhanced national awareness of the necessity for collective action towards restoring degraded landscapes in the country, inculcating values of planting and nurturing of trees in the youth, mitigating climate change, and beautifying our communities and environment,” he explained.
Mr. Jinapor recalled that during the maiden edition of the Green Ghana Day last year, the President led the country to plant over seven million, exceeding our target of five million.
“On March 1, 2022, the President launched the 2022 edition of the Green Ghana Day under was under the theme ‘Mobilising for a Greener Future’. The target for this year’s Green Ghana Day, which has been slated for June 10, 2022, is to plant, at least, twenty million trees across the country,” he pointed out.
He disclosed that planting targets had been allocated to all sixteen regions, adding that “it is the expectation of Government that, this year, to receive massive support from Ghanaians, foreigners and corporate Ghana to sustain the momentum and enthusiasm generated from last year’s event”.
“We have adopted a two-pronged strategy to achieve our target for this year. The first is to plant ten million seedlings in degraded forest reserves in compartments. We encourage Corporate Ghana and other organisations to adopt forest compartments for planting, and we will brand these compartments in the names of these organisations, and same can be reported, either as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility or as offset for their carbon footprints,” the Minister added.
“Arrangements have been made for the supply and distribution of seedlings of various tree species across the country. The rate of deforestation and forest degradation is alarming, and there is the urgent need to continue the vigorous intervention to reverse this trend of depletion. Deforestation and forest degradation continue to be the greatest threats to sustainable natural resources management, and its dire consequences on lives and livelihoods,” he added.
In a related development, the Minister has touted Ghana as the preferred mining destination of choice in Africa, assuring of the country’s readiness to do business with potential investors.
Mr Jinapor was speaking in a recent interview with journalists in Accra ahead of the 2022 Mining Indaba Conference, which started yesterday, and will end on May 12, 2022, in Cape Town, South Africa.
He further stated that Ghana’s stable political situation, economic growth reputation and position as the leading gold producer in Africa are, among others, the basis for this assertion.
According to him, the over-arching goal of the President to make Ghana the mining hub of Africa involves all the various components and linkages of the mining industry, mainly from exploration, mining, downstream services, financial services and other related mining activities “will be planted here in Ghana”.
The Minister emphasised that, to achieve this, it would also require that his outfit creates a conducive environment for private sector involvement and participation, which will mean a gamut of measures is put in place to attract private investments.
“The overall objective of government in the mining sector, therefore, is to build a sustainable, viable, indigenous and environmentally sound mining industry, with strong local content participation that contribute to the sustainable development of the country,” he added.