As part of an aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme, to restore the lost forest cover of the country, the 2023 edition of the Green Ghana Day (GGD) has been slated for Friday, 9th June, 2023, with a commitment to plant 10 million seedlings.
This was disclosed by His Royal Majesty, Asantehene Otumfour Osei Tutu II, when he officially launched the GGD at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Great Hall, Kumasi.
The Asantehene commended the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) under the leadership of Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor, MP, for seeing this assignment through and for continuously engaging him in this project.
He said that with the enthusiasm shown on previous editions of GGD, the 10 million target set for this year is within our reach, and will only be possible if we all come out to support and take active part in this exercise, and contribute to the restoration of our lost forest cover.
“This year, we have an opportunity to renew our support on this noble cause of the GGD, and the theme “our forests, our health” summarizes the importance of forest to our lives”, he added.
He entreated all and sundry to do all that we can to nurture what we have planted over the years. “Dig a hole, plant a tree, and nurture it, he emphasized.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor, MP, said the target for this year’s planting exercise has been revised downwards, to ensure that adequate resources and attention are devoted to nurturing the over 23 million tree seedlings surviving from previous editions of the GGD.
He used the opportunity to express his appreciation to the Asantehene for all his continuous support to the program since its inception and for leading the project in his region. He also thanked all Ghanaians and all residents of Ghana, who have supported the GGD project for the last 2 years, which has resulted in the planting of some 30 million tree seedlings, resulting in the survival of over 23 million seedlings.
He called on Religious leaders and faith based organisations, Ministers, Parliamentarians, Judges, Schools, Churches, Mosques, Public Servants, Civil Servants, Private sector organisations, members of the Diplomatic Corps and all persons living in Ghana to support Government’s efforts in this afforestation drive.
He highlighted that, degraded forest lands both on and off reserves, water sheds boundaries, office compounds and sites within communities such as parks, roadsides, homes, churches, Mosques, schools have been designated as significant areas for planting sites for GGD 2023.
The Chief Executive (CE) of the Forestry Commission (FC), Mr. John Allotey, gave an update and overview of GGD in previous years and highlighted on targets and achievements. According to him, 72% of seedlings planted last year are doing well.
He commended the Forestry Commission for developing a digital platform which displays in detail seedlings planted, distribution information and how the seedlings are faring.
Mr. Allotey assured that, seedling pickup points will be announced a week before planting.
The vice chancellor of KNUST, Professor Rita Akosua Dickson thanked the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, for choosing the school as the venue to launch this year’s GGD. She described the KNUST campus as the only ecofriendly university in the country.
Speaking on the theme “ our forest our health”, the vice chancellor underscored the importance of trees, and emphasized on research that shows that, trees have positive impacts on our mental health. She however advised that, spending time in natural environment such as forests and parks can significantly reduce stress.