President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday led the nationwide campaign to plant 20 million trees as part of efforts to build Ghana’s resilience against climate change.
The commemorative tree planting at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra builds on last year’s Green Ghana project, that seeks to have Ghanaians plant some 100 million trees by the end of 2024.
The maiden edition of the Green Ghana campaign held last year, saw the planting of some seven million trees.
This year’s campaign, which is being held on the theme: “Mobilising for a Greener Future”, aims to plant 20 million trees. Half of that number will be implemented within degraded forest reserves across the country.
Tree seedlings to be planted include native timber species, shade trees, multi-purpose leguminous trees, ornamental and Fruit trees.
Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said the ambitious target to plant 20 million trees was attainable and called on all Ghanaians to actively participate in the endeavor.
He noted that despite the importance of the forest to human existence, forest resources were being depleted at an alarming rate.
Worldwide, some 1.6 billion people depend on the forest for their livelihoods. In Ghana, some 85 percent of the population rely also on forest resources to satisfy socio-cultural needs.
The President bemoaned the current situation, where globally, some 79 million acres of rain forest was lost daily.
“18 years ago, half of the earth’s surface was covered by forest. Today, with an estimated forest area of 4 billion hectares, forest cover less than 30% of the world’s surface”.
“In the last three decades alone, the world has lost 1 billion and 37 million, 846 thousand, 602 arches of forest, more than 10% of the current total forest area.
“More troubling is the current date that show that globally, we are losing 150 acrhes of rain forest every single minute, 200,000 arches a day and 79 million a year and this is just rain forest” he said
Thus, the aggressive afforetation and reforestation drive by the government, President Akufo-Addo emphazised, was Ghana’s push to restore lost forest cover and halt the current rate of deforestation.
“It is in this spirit that I call on each and every one of you, whether you are a Ghanaian or not, in so far as you are in Ghana, to join us today to plant at least, 20 million trees.
“I call on members of Parliament, members of Corporate Ghana, traditional leaders, entrepreneurs, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, judges, workers, farmers, bankers, students, religious leaders, traders, civil servants, public servants, members of the diplomatic corps and indeed, every person living in Ghana as well as those visiting Ghana on Green Ghana Day, to help us plant these trees.
“Together, let us build a greener future, for current and future generations of Ghanaians and mankind” he pleaded.