Naa Dr Jacob Mahama, Chief of Zangbalan, delivering  a speech on behalf of Ya-Na
Naa Dr Jacob Mahama, Chief of Zangbalan, delivering a speech on behalf of Ya-Na

2024 Green Ghana Day launched - 10m trees to be planted

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has launched this year’s Green Ghana Day project with a call on the citizenry to commit to come together to plant and grow at least 10 million trees for a greener tomorrow for the survival of generations unborn. 


“Green Ghana Day is an extraordinary opportunity for us all to contribute to make our country greener and habitable, and forever shall it be. Saving lives and our planet is a collective responsibility,” he stressed.

He said the adage, “when the last tree dies, the last man dies”, must re-echo in our minds each day, and spur us on to work together to save Planet Earth for both current and future generations.”

Mr Jinapor made the appeal when he jointly launched this year’s edition of the Green Ghana Day with the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Abukari II, in Tamale yesterday. The minister indicated that about 42 million trees had been planted across the country in the last three years, consistently exceeding the targets for each year.

He said 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.

Climate change

He said the climate crisis was worsening by the day. “We are told by the experts that last month was the world’s hottest month ever recorded, surpassing July 2023, which was the hottest in the last 120,000 years.”

“Worst of all, global temperatures have been rising for a record-breaking 10th month in a row, since June, last year. And I believe we can all testify to the heat we have been experiencing in the country in the last few months.

“South Sudan, for example, had to close down their schools due to heatwaves, and there are fears that the Horn of Africa may become unhabitable due to these heatwaves,” he said.

Mr Jinapor said, “just last week, the United Nations said soaring temperatures are putting millions of children in Asia at risk of diseases and death. These rising temperatures have enormous impact on health, food production, access to water, among others, particularly for agrarian economies like ours.”

“These grim statistics call for an all-hands-on-deck approach to halt climate change, and save lives and our planet. The Green Ghana Project is one of the measures the government of Ghana, under the able and outstanding leadership of President Akufo-Addo, has adopted to curb the incessant degradation of our forests, which has been ongoing for years without any conscious effort to replace them, and to contribute to the global fight against climate change,” he stressed.


Beyond that, Mr Jinapor said, the ban on harvesting, salvaging, trading, exporting, and importing of Rosewood, as well as the issuance of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits for the export of Rosewood, has led to the protection of a large majority of our Rosewood, which was near extinction.

“And I must commend our revered chiefs of Northern Ghana, for their efforts thus far, in support of the protection of the forest cover of the Savannah zone, including the outright ban placed on all forms of tree harvesting within Savannah Region by the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs” he noted.

Mr Jinapor, who is also the Member of Parliament for Damongo, said adequate preparation had been made to ensure the success of the project this year. He said the Forestry Commission would in the coming days provide a detailed schedule of seedlings distribution and pick-up points across the country to ensure easy access to seedlings for planting.

While appealing to traditional leaders to mobilise their people to come out in their numbers for the exercise, he called on corporate institutions to adopt compartments in Forest Reserves and plant trees, which would be branded in their corporate names after planting, as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability footprints towards a net zero position. 

Ya-Na’s appeal

Ya-Na Abukari II with a call on traditional authorities to prioritise tree planting and fight against the continuous destruction of the vegetation cover in their respective jurisdictions.

As custodians of the land, he said chiefs wielded the jurisdictional authority over their subjects and could stop any destruction of the environment if they applied such powers effectively.

While acknowledging the efforts of the government and the relevant institutions in protecting the environment, the Ya-Na expressed worry over the level of destruction of the vegetative cover through indiscriminate felling of trees and sand winning in parts of the region.


In a speech read on his behalf by the Chief of Zangbalan, Naa Dr Jacob Mahama, the Ya-Na lauded the government for initiating the Green Ghana project, and said it had gone a long way to restore most degraded lands in the area.

"The Green Ghana Project is a game-changer; let’s own the project as chiefs to complement the government's effort to restore all degraded lands and protect the natural resources for our own good,” he said.

Ya-Na Abukari said the significance of the trees to economic growth could not be underrated in the country, especially in northern Ghana, where many rural women depended on them for their livelihoods.


The Overlord, therefore, admonished all, particularly chiefs, to come out in their numbers on June 7, 2024, to undertake the tree planting exercise to help green the country.

Green Ghana Day

This year’s edition of the Green Ghana project is on the theme, “Growing for a Greener Tomorrow”. The project is targeting to plant 10 million tree seedlings across the country, out of which 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.

For his part, the Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, stated that, "by embracing sustainable practices and investing in green infrastructure, we can build a brighter and more sustainable future for all.”


The Green Ghana was first held on June 11, 2021, with a post-planting monitoring survey putting the average tree survival rate at 71 per cent or 23 million trees planted during the 2021 and 2022 editions.


In the first edition, seven million trees were planted, 26 million trees were planted in 2022, while 10 million were planted last year.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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