The 2023 Green Ghana Day was officially launched in Kumasi by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who also called on all Ghanaians and residents to participate in the nationwide tree-planting initiative. The 2023 Green Ghana Day is scheduled for June 9, 2023.
He claimed that the Green Ghana Day offers a chance to display patriotism, showcase our dedication to safeguarding our forest resources, and prove our determination to leave a richer and greener Ghana for future generations.
For starting the Green Ghana Project, the Asantehene praised the government. He emphasized the value of trees in preserving the ecosystem, reducing climate change, and ensuring the future of the earth. He claimed that these advantages motivated him to make a commitment to planting some 2.5 million trees to safeguard Lake Bosomtwe in the Ashanti Region.
In an intensive campaign to reforest the nation’s lost forest cover, the government first established the Green Ghana Day in 2021 under the direction of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. 5 million trees were to be planted in the first edition, but almost seven million trees were actually planted. Over 26 million trees were planted last year, exceeding the goal of 20 million.
Speaking at the launch of the third edition of the Green Ghana Day, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr. John Allotey said, for the past two years, Ashanti Region has been planting the most trees on Green Ghana Days. He said over eighty-one percent of the trees planted in 2021 have survived while seventy-two percent (72%) of those planted last year have survived.
The Asantehene lamented the willful devastation of forests brought on by illegal logging and mining. He claimed that the local chief and community people could not pretend to be unaware of those responsible for the destruction. He pledged to tour the Ashanti Region in his car and summon all the chiefs whose lands had been degraded to appear and respond. “Government can’t handle it by itself. To help the government deal with these issues, we must all get involved, according to Otumfuo.
Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, stated that no organized attempt has been made to replace our lost forest cover over the years.
A total of 160,210 hectares (160,210 ha) of forest were lost in the country between 2010 and 2015, according to him. However, only 157,300 hectares (157,300 ha) of forest were cultivated between 1963 and 2016.
The Green Ghana Project, according to the minister, was necessary to raise national awareness of the need for collective action toward the restoration of the country’s degraded landscapes, instill the values of planting and caring for trees in our citizens, especially among the younger generation, mitigate climate change, and enhance the beauty of communities and the environment. The government has been taking several measures since 2017 to restore our lost forest cover.
He expressed his gratitude to everyone who had supported the program over the previous two years and renewed his request for all citizens of the nation to participate in the tree-planting ceremony on June 9, 2023, in large numbers.
The Vice Chancellor of the University as well as the Chairman of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Council both attended the occasion.