The Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), has facilitated the planting of 2,500 trees in support of the Green Ghana Project.

Ghana is today planting five million trees across the country under the Project as part of efforts to restore the country’s depleted forest cover.

FORIG, which is mandated to undertake forest, forest products and related research, disseminate and commercialize research outputs and services has, therefore, released 2,500 seedlings to support the project.

Apart from planting 500 trees at the Institute and surrounding communities, it has also supplied 2,000 seedlings to the Forestry Commission (FC) and the Soil Research Institute (SRI).

A brief commemorative planting ceremony was this morning held at a site designated to be developed into an arboretum where different species of trees were planted.

Prof. Daniel A. Ofori, Director of FORIG planted the first tree followed by other Directors of the Institute before dispatching teams to various communities for the planting exercise.

Among the communities that benefited benefit from the exercise are Apirade, Paakoso, Donaso and Ejisu.

Prof. Ofori said Ghana had 8.2 million hectares of forest in the beginning of the 21st century but it had degraded to 1.6 million hectares.

He said it was worrying that Ghana, that used to be a net sink of carbon is now a net emitter of carbon due to the wanton degradation of the forest through illegal logging, mining and other negative environmental practices.

Our survival as a people, he said, largely depended on the forest and stressed the need for Ghanaians to protect the forest as a civic responsibility.

“When the environment is degraded it has a huge toll on us, but when we are able to restore the environment, that is when we could survive the impact of climate change,” he stated.

He said about 50 per cent of Ghanaians derived their livelihoods from the forest and if we do not manage it well it would have dire consequences on the population.

The Director disclosed that an analysis conducted by FORIG revealed that there were heavy metals in some of the bush meat being consumed by the public and attributed it to human activities.

“We must all support this initiative to green Ghana to reap the benefits from the environment for good health and long life,” he observed.

He said FORIG was committed to sustainable management of forest and pledged the Institute’s support for any initiative that seeks to restore the degraded forests.

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