Let’s ensure our trees grow
Let’s ensure our trees grow

Let’s ensure our trees grow

Last Tuesday, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources launched the fourth edition of the Green Ghana Day initiative, targeting to plant 10 million tree seedlings.


This year’s Green Ghana Day project, a government initiative aimed at restoring the country’s degraded landscape, will be held on June 7 on the theme "Growing for a Greener Tomorrow”.

At the national launch of the project in the northern regional capital, Tamale, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, indicated that six million seedlings would be planted in degraded forest reserves while four million seedlings would be planted within and around farms, degraded watershed areas and within communities, medians of roads, among others.

The fourth in four years, this year’s exercise will bring to 54.5 million the number of trees that have been planted since the initiative was first held on June 11, 2021.

The minister had also indicated that the government had been committed to an aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme, which had led to the cultivation of almost 721,000 hectares of forest between 2017 and 2023, under the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy.

At the launch of the event, Ya-Na Abukari II called on traditional authorities to prioritise tree planting and also help to fight against the continuous destruction of the vegetation cover in their respective jurisdictions.

The traditional ruler was worried that although the government and the relevant institutions were making efforts to protect the environment, the vegetative cover was still being destroyed through indiscriminate felling of trees, illegal mining and sand winning.

The Daily Graphic gives thumbs up to the Ya-Naa for speaking out on the issue of environmental destruction. We are particularly pleased that the Dagbon Overlord called on chiefs to serve as the vanguards for restoring sanity to the environment.

Undoubtedly, chiefs have a louder voice in the national discourse, and when they speak, the political class who wield political power catch cold. Therefore, when chiefs decide that they would not allow any of the human activities that destroys the environment to fester within their areas of jurisdiction, we will be making a headway in protecting our forests, waterbodies and landscape.

While the Daily Graphic sees the Green Ghana initiative as a major step towards restoring the country’s degraded landscape, especially within the context of the global climate crisis, we are also of the view that planting thousands of trees and allowing tens of thousands to be felled indiscriminately amounts to chasing the wind.

There is ample evidence that the country’s forest reserves are getting depleted through the activities of illegal miners, illegal loggers, crude agricultural activities in forest reserves and other human activities.

The Daily Graphic calls for the strengthening of relevant state institutions, especially the Forestry Commission, to perform its constitutional mandate of protecting the forest from destruction.

We further call for the strict enforcement of forest conservation and preservation laws.

 Additionally, we are of the view that while efforts are being made to plant more trees, adequate measures must also be put in place to ensure the survival of the trees that have been planted so far.

The Forest Commission has indicated that its monitoring exercise has shown that over 80 per cent of the trees planted in forest reserves have survived.

While there is no contrary evidence to dispute that claim, it is obvious that the trees that were planted in off-reserve areas may not be doing well.

For instance, many of the trees that were planted in the median of roads and highways in Accra have either not survived or are not growing well. 

The Daily Graphic calls on the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to take steps to protect trees planted within their areas of jurisdiction.  Other stakeholders, including schools, churches and individuals who took trees to plant must also take up the responsibility of ensuring that the trees they planted are nurtured to maturity. 

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