Atewa Forest
Atewa Forest

As part of its activities to combat climate change, Ghana has rolled out a program to plant new tree seedlings in degraded forest areas and other parts of the country that need greening, the Forestry Commission said Tuesday.

The nationwide program being undertaken by personnel deployed by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) targets to plant between 8 million seedlings and 10 million seedlings of various variety of trees annually nationwide.

“We are not going to spare any area that needs greening. By the next 10 years Ghana will become green again,” Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission told media after a tour of the nursery and plantation sites.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Ghana had about 8 million hectares of closed forests. This figure has however reduced to about 1 million hectares, heightening the necessity for the West African cocoa-growing country to start vigorous reafforestation.

The commission said it has recruited 15,000 youths from basic school leavers to graduates of the university to implement this project.

Hugh Clement Brown, director for plantation at the commission, said part of the seedlings being planted are for plantation farming to satisfy the timber and logging demands, while some are for the planning and beautification of the streets.

“However, more importantly you know we are working towards combating climate change and climate change adaptability so the trees we are growing today are part of that process as well,” Brown explained.

Whereas the commission supplied these seedlings for free in the past to companies and individuals that wanted them for transplanting, the current strategy is to invest in a nationwide tree planting exercise in order to restore the green vegetation the country has been known for.

Some of the seedlings will be transplanted along the buffers created for streams, rivers and dams, while others are going to allotted parcels of land, said the plantations director, adding that more than 10 million seedlings had been planted last year alone. Enditem

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