Staff of Prudential Life Insurance Ghana planting mangrove seedlings at the Ramsar Site in Ada Foah-Obane
Staff of Prudential Life Insurance Ghana planting mangrove seedlings at the Ramsar Site in Ada Foah-Obane

Strategic Youth Network for Development, Prudential Life team up to restore mangroves

Three organisations have undertaken a tree planting exercise to improve mangrove cover and protect the Ramsar Site at Ada Foah Obane in the Ada East District in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

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Strategic Youth Network for Development (SYND), a non-governmental organisation in climate and environmental sustainability, the Forestry Commission and Prudential Life Insurance Ghana came together to undertake the initiative to help improve the situation at Ada Foah Obane during this year’s Green Ghana Day.

Mangrove forests stabilise the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves and tides. The intricate root system of mangroves also makes these forests attractive to fish and other organisms seeking food and shelter from predators.

The depletion of mangroves, coupled with the choked creek that connects with the Volta Lake and eventually the sea along the Ada Ramsar site, has killed a major source of fishing, farming and other livelihoods in the area.

Available statistics from the Forestry Commission suggest that the current mangrove cover of Ghana is estimated at 72.4 square kilometres  with over 18 million trees. 
Recent studies also indicate that there is a significant decline in the country’s mangrove forests due to urbanisation, over-exploitation, pollution, wildfires and climate change.

Exercise

The exercise rallied volunteers of the NGO, community members and staff of Prudential Life and Forestry Commission to plant 2,000 mangrove seedlings. 

The Executive Coordinator of SYND Ghana, Chibeze Ezekiel, said facts on the ground and from the Forestry Commission show that restoring the country’s vegetation would be incomplete without wetlands being protected to support the lives of people who lived in places such as Obane.

He said the initiative would support the fishing occupation in the area, boost the local economy and create a safe environment for  current and future generations. He added that the exercise was a pilot project that would be upscaled to cover other areas in similar situations.

He expressed gratitude to the Forestry Commission for their expertise and Prudential Life Insurance for funding the project, and called on other organisations to support the initiative to cover other areas.

The Head of Sustainability at Prudential Life Insurance Ghana, Emmanuel Hammond, said they supported the initiative because not only did it align with their corporate vision, but also was in tandem with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of enhancing education, health and safety.

He said the initiative would help communities around the Ramsar site to build resilience to climate change to ensure a safer and more secure future for all.

Mr Hammond added that his outfit was considering a five-year plan to plant more mangroves to improve the community’s resilience to environmental challenges.

The Youth Committee Secretary at Obane, Eric Tetteh Addo Wusah, called on other organisations and philanthropists to support the community to plant more mangroves and dredge parts of the wetlands to protect their land and improve their livelihood.


Writer's email: [email protected]

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