The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, has disclosed that the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will next month, launch the 2023 edition of government’s aggressive afforestation/reforestation programme, Green Ghana Day to help restore the country’s degraded landscapes.
The Deputy Minister made this declaration when he made a statement on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, 21st March 2023, to mark the International Day of Forests 2023 on the theme; “Forests and Health”.
Owusu-Bio explained that this year, the Green Ghana Day has been scheduled for June 9, 2023, with a target of 10 million seedlings to be planted across the country; 6 million on-reserve and 4 million off-reserve.
He expressed gratitude to the Speaker of Parliament, and the Parliamentarians for taking active part in the Green Ghana Day since its inception, while congratulating them for nurturing all trees planted during the event and ensuring a 100% survival rate.
Owusu-Bio employed the opportunity to appeal to all Ghanaians and the international community to embrace and support the 2023 Edition just as they have demonstrated high enthusiasm in the previous years.
The Deputy Minister in his speech mentioned some flagships interventions undertaken by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to address the challenges in the sector, these he mentioned include, the Green Ghana Day, National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP), Landscape Restoration and Small Scale Mining Project, Ghana Forest Investment Programme, Ghana Cocoa Forest REDD+ Project and the Shea Landscape Emission Reduction Programme.
He mentioned that to observe the International Day of Forests, the Forestry Commission had a week-long programme for school children, which was aimed at creating awareness and active involvement of children in the celebration while he called on all and sundry to support the vision of the President to restore the country’s degraded landscapes for better nutrition, better environment and a better health for all.
He also noted that the measures being embarked on by Government through the Ministry are yielding some positive results. However, he added that “we still need to do a lot of work in this area as a collective responsibility from all of us to ensure that we leave our children unborn a better and richer forest estate than we inherited”.
Some members of Parliament also took turns to contribute to the matter on the floor, stating the importance of forests while urging parliamentarians and Ghanaians alike to take it up upon themselves to protect Ghana’s forests which will go a long way to contribute to the reduction in Global warming. They also called on all and sundry to take active part in the Green Ghana Day to foster a better environment and health for all.
Among the members who gave comments include Alhassan Ghansah, MP for Brakwa/Asikuma/ Odoben, Gizella Tetteh-Abotui-Awutu Senya West, Alexander Afenya-Markin – Effutu,
Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor- North Dayi and the Emmanuel Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP for Tarkoradi.
On November 28, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21st as the International Day of Forests and to be celebrated on the 21st of March each year.
The purpose of the International Day of Forests is to celebrate forests across the world and also create awareness on the role that forests and trees play in the socio-economic and environmental, development of our nations.
The United Nations allows countries to select suitable periods in the year to celebrate this day. Ghana, therefore, over the years has celebrated the occasion in June during which period we have good rains to plant trees across all ecological zones.