Environmentalist lauds ‘Green Ghana’ initiative

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Environmentalist lauds ‘Green Ghana’ initiative, asks Ghanaians to nurture the trees

A renown environmentalist has called on Ghanaians to help nurture and sustain trees, planted under the Green Ghana programme to restore the nation’s depleted forest cover.

Mr Richard Adjei-Poku, also the Executive Director of the Livelihood Environment Ghana (LEG), a Sunyani-based environmentally inclined non-governmental organisation said the “Green Ghana progranne” remained laudable and therefore called on everybody to support the initiative for the nation to derive optimum benefit.

The ‘Green Ghana’ initiative, launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has become an annual event that seeks to mobilize all stakeholders to undertake a massive nationwide tree planting exercise to reduce deforestation and combat climate change.

This year, the country is expected to plant about 10 million trees nationwide.

Speaking in an interview with the media in Sunyani, Mr Adjei-Poku said it was only through the initiative that the nation could restore 7.1 million hectares of its depleted forest.

He regretted that the country’s forest cover, which was about 8.4 million hectares in the 1960s, had rapidly depleted due to human activities with only 3.1 million hectares left.

“So, we can only bridge this gap through the Green Ghana initiative”, Mr Adjei-Poku stated, saying the government alone could not shoulder the responsibility, hence the need for Ghanaians to help nurture the trees.

“In fact, it would be very sad if we allow these trees to die. The government has invested hugely into this nitiative and we must all contribute our quota for the nation to derive the benefit”, he added.

Mr Adjei-Poku said “if we continue to plant these trees every year and we don’t nurture them, then we are causing huge financial loss to the state and posterity would not spare all of us”.

Highlighting some of the benefits, he said trees absorb carbon from industrial pollution, prevent and reduce the impact of the ozone layer depletion, serve as windbreaks, protect direct sunlight and provide fresh air.

“Humans and trees are interdependent and in fact we need the trees more than they do” he said.

Mr Adjei-Poku indicated that his NGO did not plant any tree this year, but instead focused on public education on the need for individuals and communities to nurture and preserve the trees.

“We extended our public education outreach to the Bomaa and Asukese communities in the Ahafo region for the people to understand and appreciate the need to preserve the Bosomkese forest reserve and participate in the tree planting exercise as well”, he added.

Mr Adjei-Poku noted that people’s knowledge about the importance of trees remained low and therefore called on the media to help intensify public education, particularly at the community levels.

“As a key development partner, the electronic media must minimize their discussions on politics and sports, and use some of their airtime to sensitize the general public on the relevance of trees.

“This would greatly help them appreciate and contribute their quota towards nurturing the trees”, he stated.

However, Mr Adjei-Poku commended the enthusiasm Ghanaians had demonstrated towards the Green Ghana initiative and expressed the hope that they would not leave the trees to die but nurture them to also help mitigate the impact of climate change being felt in parts of the
country.

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