Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, says the negative reports on the economic, environmental, and social implication of climate change must serve as a clarion call on Ghanaians to take tree planting and preservation seriously.
He said that the impact of climate change on food production, health of citizens, transportation and other areas of the economy could not be over emphasized and for that matter “the reality of climate change is one we cannot escape.”
He has therefore called for the mobilisation of resources to mitigate the impact of climate change to preserve the ecology for future generations.
“Trees need about 15 gallons of water a week to survive. I will encourage all of us here to commit to preserve the already planted trees and the ones we will plant today,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta made the remarks when he took his turn to plant a tree seedling as part of activities to mark the Green Ghana Day.
A report by the African Development Bank indicates that four in every five Africans rely on solid biomass for cooking, which causes an estimated 600,000 deaths per annum due to household air pollution in addition to the challenge of deforestation.
The Bank has also stated that the continent will need about US$3 trillion for climate mitigation and adaptation by 2030 even though it is among the least contributors to climate crisis, that is about 3.8% of the global volume of carbon emissions.
With an 85 per cent survival rate of 7 million trees planted last year, the minister said the theme for this year’s event, “Mobilising for Greener Future” should necessitate a collective action towards restoring degraded landscapes, beautify communities, mitigate climate impact in the country.
“Our agrarian and resource driven economies are largely susceptible to the effects of climate change, and our capacity to withstand its shocks are low”
He noted that Government’s initiative to lead the nation to plant trees stemmed from the numerous significant benefits which included the checking of erosion, providing shelter for wildlife, renewable energy source, saving water bodies, absorption of harmful gases as well as flood control measures.
“Let us understand that it is our individual and collective responsibility to safeguard the planet, the people and to maintain peace and prosperity through sustainable partnerships,” he said.
The Minister of Tourism, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Deputy Minister of Finance, John Kumah, officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and staff of the Controller and Accountant General Department also joined the exercise held on the premises of the Finance Ministry.
The Ministry would also make available about 150 seedlings to interested staff to take home and plant.