The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has called on managers of tourist sites, communities and individuals to commit to tree planting to mitigate the effect of climate change, reduce emissions and provide vegetation cover for the environment.
He said green investment had become crucial as it could contribute to socio-economic and environmental benefits for the host communities and the country.
Mr Wisdom Ahadzi, the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, revealed this at a tree planting exercise at the Paga Chief Crocodile Pond in the Kassena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region, to mark the World Tourism Day.
It is on the theme: “Tourism and Green Investment: Investing in People, Planet and Prosperity.”
Mr Ahadzi said the theme highlighted an indication of the symbiotic relationship between tourism, the environment, planet, and the people and how tourism could be used as a vehicle to promote, through traditional innovative investment, the development of competitive and sustainable growth communities and the entire country.
The Upper East Region had a lot of potentials and with the appropriate investment, could equally attract more tourists for the benefit of the value chain, he said.
The GTA would continue to collaborate with the municipal and district chief executives to identify the tourism potentials in their respective areas and partner prospective investors to develop attractions for economic, social, and environmental benefits to all.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, lauded the GTA for the initiative to plant trees to mark the annual event.
He said climate change was one factor that posed severe predicament to the existence of the crocodiles in the Paga pond, as the water levels reduced drastically during the long dry season.
The planting of trees would, therefore, would help protect the vegetation cover and animals and further reduce harmful emissions.
He called on the traditional authority of Paga and all stakeholders to protect the trees “so that this meaningful intervention will not be short- lived.”
Mr Godfred A. Awampaga, on behalf of the care takers of the crocodile pond, commended the GTA for the continuous support towards the improvement of the crocodile pond, while assuring them that he and his team would protect and nurture the trees to grow.
He appealed to the District Assembly and stakeholders to desilt the pond and fence it to attract more tourists and boost economic activities.