The Central Region is expected to plant 550,000 tree seedlings across the region as part of the Green Ghana Day, which is being marked today across the country.
Already, the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission has distributed more than 440,000 seedlings across the region ahead of today, June 11, towards the Green Ghana tree planting campaign.
The seedlings were distributed to educational institutions, religious organisations and civil society groupings who are taking part in today’s exercise.
Five million trees
The Green Ghana Day, an initiative under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, targets the planting of five million trees across the country to restore the country's fast depleting forest reserves and beautify the country.
The Central Regional Manager of the Forest Services Division, Mr Michael Pentsil, at a brief ceremony symbolically handed over the seedlings to the Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan.
Mr Pentsil said though the region was expected to plant 400,000 seedlings initially, the high demand for the seedlings compelled the Forest Services Division to increase the number.
"There has been a high demand for the seedlings and we had to increase the quantity," he stated.
He said the trees were expected to help restore the damaged ecosystem and significantly mitigate climate change and its effects on the country.
Mr Pentsil said the Central Regional Coordinating Council (CRCC) alone would receive 2,000 seedlings for planting.
He commended the various stakeholders who had partnered the commission to ensure the success of the exercise and said he was optimistic that the region would plant more than expected, adding that it was expected that all would take advantage of the project to make the country green again.
On monitoring the progress of the trees, Mr Pentsil said the commission would record details of all who would participate in the tree planting and track and sustain the trees to do well to ensure the efforts were not wasted.
Mr Pentsil further urged all Ghanaians to develop the habit of planting trees and inculcate same in the younger ones.
He said about 14 areas had been designated for seedlings collection within the Cape Coast metropolis, including schools, churches and other institutions.
Receiving the seedlings, Mrs Assan expressed gratitude to various stakeholders that had partnered the planting exercise so far and appealed to all to get involved in the exercise.
She said the RCC was ready to support the exercise with its available resources, tools and ability to ensure the campaign was a success.
Mrs Assan said such initiatives and exercises could sustain the planet earth and added that the exercise would go a long way to save our forests and water bodies.
She urged the media to also support efforts by the commission to beautify the country.
Tree planting education
Meanwhile, as part of efforts to ensure the success of the Green Ghana initiative, the Bono Regional Forestry Commission has schooled chiefs and people of Berekum on the best way to plant trees.
The sensitisation was aimed at ensuring that all trees planted in the region under the Green Ghana initiative during the mass tree planting exercise survived.
In addition, the commission conducted a tree planting demonstration exercise to prevent wasting seedlings during the exercise.
So far, the commission has distributed more than 100,000 seedlings to individuals, organisations, institutions and faith-based organisations, and expects to plant a total of 250,000 seedlings today.
The function at Berekum brought together key stakeholders such as members of the Berekum Traditional Council, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the Berekum municipality who provide services in reforestation of degraded forest reserves and plantation management.
The team led by the Bono Regional Manager of the Forest Services Division (FSD), Mr Isaac Noble Eshun, paid a courtesy call on the Omanhene of the Berekum Traditional Council, Daasebre Amankona Diawuo II and the Berekum College of Education plantation site, where the seedlings were planted by the Forum Ghana, an NGO, five years ago before moving to the demonstration site.
Mr Eshun explained that trees had several benefits for both humans and animals as they depended on trees for survival and expressed the hope that when the country's depleted forest and other vegetation were restored, issues of climate change and global warming would be things of the past.
For his part, Daasebre Diawuo II pledged the support of the chiefs and people of Berekum towards the initiative due to its relevance to the sustenance of the environment.
He admonished the public, particularly people from Berekum and its adjourning communities, to suspend all their activities to partake in the mass tree planting exercise, so that the country would exceed the five million trees target.
Daasebre Diawuo II appealed to the commission to prioritise river banks during the exercise to help protect them from drying up.
The Sunyani District Manager of the FSD, Mr Francis Brobbey, who took participants through the steps involved in tree planting, said the demonstration exercise was necessary to help ensure the success of the mass tree planting exercise.
He explained that when tree seedlings were planted properly, they would survive irrespective of the soil and the weather condition and explained that the demonstration was important, since majority of Ghanaians would be involved in the exercise.