Under the Ghana Shea Landscape Emissions Reduction Project (GSLERP), an event has been held at the 69 Airborne Military Camp, Tamale, to outdoor the first 1,000 grafted shea seedlings, the first of its kind in the history of Forestry Commission (FC), to be planted on GSLERP sites.
This was done under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation programme (REDD+), which has the GSLERP, as one of its pillars, being executed by the Climate Change Department (CCD) of the Forestry Commission (FC), in the northern part of the country.
Welcoming the audience to the event, Commander of the Air Force Base, Tamale, Air Commodore Joshua Mensah-Larkai, expressed his appreciation to FC for giving his outfit the opportunity to host the event. He mentioned that “shea is a source of income therefore, any attempt to preserve them must be given the needed help”.
Mr. John Allotey, the Chief Executive of Forestry Commission who delivered the keynote address, mentioned that a key feature of the Project, which is the first of its kind, is the intention to plant 3.5 million grafted shea seedlings to restore degraded shea parklands. Shea, when grafted, has a shorter gestation period, fruits yield in a shorter period, and is very much disease resistant. It is therefore, with immense pleasure and great honour to mark the planting of the first grafted 1,000 grafted shea seedlings under the Project, he concluded.
He mentioned that the GSLERP has been a source of income to communities and other stakeholders. As at 2022, 1,268,000 tree seedlings were planted in 26 forest reserves across the five regions of the northern part of the country and that involved 1,057 farmers from 50 forest fringe communities. A target of 70 tree nurseries was set to be established out of which 43 has been established so far.
Mr. Allotey continued that, this year, the target is to plant shea seedlings on 3,600 ha of degraded forest reserves, and it is ongoing.
He thanked the Forestry Commission Board, led by Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II, who is also the Paramount Chief of Wassa Amenfi Traditional Area; the members of the Project Steering Committee; United Nations Development Programme; Global Shea Alliance, traditional authorities and local communities who contributed in making GSLERP a success.
There were goodwill messages from Dr. Angela Lusigi, UNDP country representative, Mr. Adam Silagyi, USAID and Global Shea Alliance.
Ms. Roselyn Fosuah Adjei, the Director of Climate Change, FC, thanked the audience for making it to the programme and assured that the doors of FC and Global Shea Alliance are always opened for consultations about the Project and encouraged all and sundry to be involved as there is a high opportunity for communities to attract climate funding.
The programme ended with a ceremonial tree planting by the FC Board Chairman; Chief Executive of FC; UNDP Country Representative; Global Shea Alliance Director and others.