In celebrating the 2024 International Day of Forests (IDF), which falls annually on 21st March, the Forestry Commission ( FC) has held an inter-schools debate competition at the GNAT Hall in Tamale.
The competing schools were Tamale Senior High School and Ghana Senior High School.
The aim of the event was to create awareness on the importance of forests as well as imbibe a sense of responsibility towards protecting and nurturing trees in the youth.

Mr. Kwasi Frimpong, Regional Manager, FSD, Tamale, in his welcome address, expressed his gratitude to the Planning Committee for choosing the Northern Region for the national celebration of this year’s IDF.
He further explained that the celebrations focus on a specific theme related to forest conservation and sustainable management.
” This year, the theme ‘forest and innovation ‘, aims to highlight the critical role of innovation in sustainable forest management and conservation”, he said.
He wished each of the competing schools the best of luck and hoped for a healthy competition.

Hon. Sule Salifu, MCE, Tamale, in a statement read on his behalf by Madam Fauzia Sakara, expressed immense gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable event. “As we gather here to commemorate the International Day of Forests, we are reminded of the vital importance of forests in sustaining life on our planet”. He added that this year’s theme, “Forests and Innovation,” holds great significance in our ever-evolving world and this global platform serves as a powerful tool to raise awareness about the critical role that forests play in our ecosystem. He emphasized that through the thoughtful arguments and innovative ideas of our youth today, they remind us of the power of the youth in driving positive change for our planet.
He stated that as we look ahead, it is imperative that we continue to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration in order to protect and preserve our forests. Whether through technological advances, policy reforms, or community initiatives, each one of us has a role to play in safeguarding our natural heritage for generations to come.

The debate competition commenced with an introduction of the panel of judges namely; Prof. Bernard N. Baatuwie, Dr. Rikiatu Hussein both faculty members of the University of Development Studies; and Mrs Lydia Opoku, Deputy Director of Operations, Forest Services Division, Forestry Commission.

Both schools were represented by two speakers who took turns in defending their stances. Tamale SHS stood against the motion ” Wood is the best green resource, we should use more of it” while Ghana SHS stood for the motion.

The Deputy Chief Executive of FC, Mr. Nyadia Sulemana Nelson, in his remarks, congratulated both schools for their efforts and the in-depth knowledge displayed on the topic. “It is so inspiring to see young people taking an active role in shaping the future of this country. Having future policymakers and leaders who are passionate about the environment is crucial for sustainable development and creating a better Ghana”, he added.

At the end of the competition, Tamale Senior High School emerged as the winner and took away a cash prize of GHc5000, a desktop computer, a plaque, a certificate, IDF-branded exercise books and T-shirts, and 2 boxes of pens. Ghana Senior High School also took away a cash prize of GHC4,000.00, a desktop computer, a plaque, a certificate, IDF-branded exercise books and T-shirts, and two boxes of pens.