US Government collaborates with Forestry Commission, EPA to mark Green Ghana Day

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US Government collaborates with Forestry Commission, EPA to mark Green Ghana Day
US Government collaborates with Forestry Commission, EPA to mark Green Ghana Day

The United States Government has collaborated with the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a durbar to celebrate the Green Ghana Day and promote community participation in tree planting in the Northern Region.

The durbar, held at Kushegu in the Yendi Municipality on the theme: “Our Forest, Our Health – Promoting Community Participation to protect Our Forests and Our Health,” was supported by the Feed the Future Ghana Market Systems and Resilience (MSR) and Policy LINK Activities, both funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The long-term objective of the Ghana Green Day celebration was to increase forest cover, improve ecological balance in the region and foster a sense of community ownership and engagement for active participation in sustainable environmental practices.

Dr Gerald Forkuor, Climate Change Lead at Policy LINK Activity, speaking at the durbar, underscored the need for stakeholders to support government’s aggressive afforestation programme to restore the country’s degraded vegetation.

Dr Forkuor emphasised that, “It will contribute to the resilience of vulnerable communities by supplying food in the form of fruits and edible leaves, and when harvested sustainably, it would provide fuel for community energy needs.”

He said, “The crusade to restore the depleted landscape requires the commitment of all stakeholders through awareness creation on climate change and community participation.”

Mr Michael Amanampong Owusu, Team Lead, Ghana MSR Activity, said it was part of efforts to increase forest cover and improve ecological balance in the area as well as foster a sense of community ownership and engagement for active participation in sustainable environmental practices.

He said, “Throughout the year, the Ghana MSR and Policy LINK Activities will continue sensitisation and outreach through community durbars to support planting of 10,000 multipurpose trees in the 17 Districts located in four regions of the USAID MSR zone of influence, including Northern, North East, Upper East and Upper West Regions.”

Mr Owusu said the tree planting exercise would be conducted in phases using acacia, moringa, shea, and mango seedlings.

Mr Michael Kofi Benni, Manager, Yendi District Forest Services Division, of Forestry Commission spoke on the interdependent link that existed between forests and health conditions of people, including the provision and supply of food and other basic necessities.

He said despite the many benefits of tree planting, deforestation persisted, especially in rural communities, hence, the need to intensify awareness creation through community engagements.

Mr Benni said the Yendi District Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission since the commencement of the Green Ghana Day Project had distributed and facilitated the planting of 464,489 tree species and seedlings.

He said, “In line with the 2023 Green Ghana Day target of 10 million trees, the Yendi District Forest Services Division is focused to plant an estimated 144,000 seedlings in four reserves and 100,000 seedlings in off reserve areas within the forest district for the period.”

Alhaji Ahmed Yussuf Abubakar, Yendi Municipal Chief Executive underscored the importance of tree planting, especially in the areas of health and agriculture and said it would also help boost food production in the area.

Kushe-Naa Abdulai Osman, Chief of Kushegu community commended the partners for the durbar and pledged his support to preserving land and water bodies within his jurisdiction.

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