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Intensify campaign against galamsey for successful Green Ghana Initiative - Okyenhene

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
John Allotey (arrowed), Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, speaking during a courtesy call on the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin (right). With them are some officials of the Forestry Commission and the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry
John Allotey (arrowed), Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, speaking during a courtesy call on the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin (right). With them are some officials of the Forestry Commission and the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry

The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, has said the campaign against illegal mining (galamsey) must be intensified as part of measures to bolster the Green Ghana Initiative.

He said the agenda to restore the country’s degraded landscape through an aggressive tree-planting exercise would come to nought if bold steps were not taken to tackle illegal mining and other human activities that degraded the environment.

The Okyenhene said this when the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission (FC), John Allotey, led a delegation from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the FC to his palace in Kyebi in the Eastern Region to court his support for the Green Ghana Day (GGD) exercise.

Also in the delegation was the Technical Director of Forestry at the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry, Joseph Osiakwan.

Acting together

Osagyefuo Ofori Panin called for an all-hands-on-deck approach to clamp down on perpetrators of galamsey to give real meaning to the Green Ghana Initiative.

"We have to act together to stop this galamsey that destroys the land that we are trying to rebuild or the forest that we are trying to restore, otherwise we are not doing anything. If I am planting a tree now and in the next five years someone will come and cut it for galamsey, my effort will be useless," he added.

The Green Ghana Initiative is a government interventional policy that seeks to plant trees to restore the country’s degraded landscape to mitigate the global impact of climate change.

After planting more than five million trees in the maiden exercise, the government has set aside June 10, this year to further plant 20 million trees in degraded forests and off-reserve areas.

According to the Okyenhene, posterity would not forgive the current generation if adequate measures were not put in place to safeguard the environment from more destruction.

"It is selfish that we should dig all the gold from the ground and cut down all the trees for parochial gain to deny future generations of natural resources and a healthy environment.

"I am delighted that the government has seen the need to replant, restore and replenish degraded forests. This is good because it us our future, and when we plant 20 million trees, we are planting our future to be free from diseases and climate change,” he said.

He said given the pivotal role chiefs played in mobilisation for development, it was important for them to be made part of the entire process of the Green Ghana project.

"If Nananom are asked to lead the mobilisation for tree planting, we need to be part of the negotiation, arrangement and the entire process, so that the people at the local level can own the project," he added.

Appeal

Mr Allotey entreated the Okyenhene to use his influence to mobilise people in the area for the tree-planting exercise.

"We know that Osagyefuo is committed to issues of forest conservation and responsible mining, so we would want your support for the exercise to be successful," he said, and commended the Okyenhene for his role in the 2021 GGD exercise.