The Forestry Commission will embark on sustained educational programmes to create awareness on the importance of the forests to the survival of mankind.
Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Chief Executive Forestry Commission, said educating the general populace was one of the ways through which the nation’s depleted forests could be restored.
This, he said, would involve awareness creation, sensitisation and behavioural change approaches to forest protection, development and participatory planning and management.
Mr Afriyie was speaking at a News conference to mark the International Day of Forests , which falls on March 21 every year.
It is a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to create awareness on the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests.
The UN, however, allows member states to adapt the date of the celebration of the International Day of Forests, as well as the theme, to suit their peculiar circumstances.
Ghana, therefore, chooses the month of June every year for the celebration of the Day to coincide with the major rainy and planting season.
In this connection, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collaboration with the Forestry Commission and other stakeholders will hold this year’s International Day of Forests on June 10 to 14 in the Bono Regional Capital, Sunyani.
The global theme for the International Day of Forests 2019 is “Forests and Education.”
Ghana, therefore, carved a theme out of the global one, which is “Education, Our Responsibility”.
Mr Afriyie said the choice of the theme for the celebration was to provide the opportunity to educate the public on the tremendous potential of forests toward the sustainability of lives and the economy.
He said the Forestry Commission and other stakeholders would engage in massive educational programmes targeting especially, the youth, who are the future leaders and policy makers on the need to protect and conserve forests.
Mr Afriyie said deforestation and forest degradation through illegal forest activities, was perhaps the greatest challenge to forest management today and the consequences were being manifested through adverse climate change impacts.
He said some of the effects were seen in the drying up of many water bodies, extinction of prime timber species, destruction of wildlife habitats, high temperatures and rise in sea levels, unreliable rainfall patterns and food insecurity.
Mr Afriyie said it would involve all and sundry to educate one another on the importance of forests and trees in human lives and the need to protect the forest resources against wanton destruction.
He said the celebration would be held in the Bono Regional Capital of Sunyani because of the reckless destruction of forests, which has resulted in a rapid rate of environmental degradation in its entirety.
He said the collaboration on education would be extended to schools, communities, farmers groups, youth organisations, Civil Society Organisations and others to educate the public on forest conservation activities, using the various media platforms.
There will also be massive tree planting exercises in all regions and districts throughout the country to commemorate the event, all aimed at improving the nation’s forest cover and protecting forests.
Activities earmarked for this year’s week-long celebration included; the launch of the 8th Forestry Week & Greening Ghana Day Celebration, Inter-schools quiz competition on Sustainable Forest Management Practices, Tree Planting exercises and Grand Durbar of Stakeholders.