Mr John Allotey, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission has called on traditional authorities to mobilise their people to support the Green Ghana project.
He said the success of the project required a collaborative effort of all, thus the call for traditional authorities to use their influential to get their people on board for the success of the exercise.
Mr Allotey made the call when he called on Osei Adza Tekpor VII, Paramount Chief of Avatime Traditional Area, as part of his working visit to the Volta region.
The visit was to offer the CEO the opportunity to assess the Region’s preparedness for this year’s edition of the Green Ghana Day, slated for June 10, and dubbed: Mobilising for Greener Future.”
Mr Allotey appealed to all and sundry to be interested in tree planting and protection, and take tree planting as part of their civic responsibilities to make the country greener.
He said this year’s target was to plant 20 million trees, and that the aim was not only to meet the target, but also inculcate in the youth the habit of planting trees, protecting trees, and proper maintenance of trees.
The CEO commended the chiefs and people of Avatime Traditional Area for their conscious efforts at protecting the environment and the forest at the area.
Osei Adza Tekpor thanked the Forestry boss for the visit and pledged his support and that of the traditional council for the exercise.
He said they appreciated the environment God has given them, and would therefore do everything possible within their power to ensure its full protection against anything that aimed at destroying it.
The Chief, however, mentioned activities of chainsaw operators as major challenges to their efforts, as most of these operators continued to fell trees without replacing them.
“We tried to stop them but to no avail, he said, noting that most of the operators were being supported by ‘big men’ in society and that the security services were also not doing much to assist in addressing the situation.
The Paramount Chief described the Green Ghana project as a laudable idea, which must be embraced by all, disclosing that his outfit had taken the initiative seriously and had started nursing ornamental trees for a replant.
The Forestry Commission boss, who was accompanied by Mr. Hugh Brown, Director of Operations and Plantations, Mrs. Joyce Ofori Kwafo, Manager, Corporate Affairs and Media Relations also called on the Volta Regional Minister at his office to seek his support for the project.
He said the support of the Volta Region in last year’s project was tremendous and commended the Minister, chiefs and people of the Region.
Mr Allotey said the Region had been given a target of 500,000 this year compared to 200,000 last year, and this required more hands and efforts to meet.
He visited some seedlings nurseries and prepared planting sites including Ho District Nursery, Denu and Sogakope District Nurseries, where a total of 292,000 seedlings are ready for planting.
Dr Letsa Letsa, Volta Regional Minister thanked the CEO and said the Region was ready for the exercise to ensure its success.
He said last year the Region exceeded its target and was hopeful that the story would remain the same for this year, and called on all to come out on June 10 to plant trees to protect the environment.
The Minister said trees played an essential role in the lives of mankind, and therefore gave his full support saying “the project is good for the protection of the environment and good for our health.”
Mr Newton Annobel, Ho Municipal Manager of the Commission told Ghana News Agency, about 80 per cent of trees planted the last year were doing well.
He said improper maintenance was a cause of the failure of the rest 20 per cent to do well, however, mechanisms were being developed to curtail the challenge.
President Nana Akufo-Addo, on March 1, launched this year’s edition of the Green Ghana Day with a target to plant at least 20 million trees and with 10 million expected to be planted in degraded forest reserve compartment across the country.