President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the project during the 2021 State of the Nation Address in March, explaining that the initiative will rally Ghanaians for an active nationwide tree planting exercise.
Subsequently, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, on March 23, this year, launched the greening project as part of activities to mark this year’s International Day of Forests on March 21.
The ministry plans to institute June 11 each year as a tree-planting day.
Some five million tree seedlings of different species are expected to be planted and nurtured to maturity as an aggressive measure to preserve the country’s forest cover and the environment and roll back climate change and its debilitating impact.
The government's initial target of planting five million trees in a day under its Green Ghana Project has now ballooned, following the expression of interest in the initiative by many organisations.
A variety of forest trees and fruit trees had been selected for the project.
Some of the forest trees are teak, wawa, mahogany, acacia, neem, rosewood and ornamental trees. The fruit trees include coconut, tangerines, pear, orange, mango and royal palm.
The seedlings are to be planted in forest reserves that have been depleted as a result of wanton illegal mining activities, on school compounds, the premises of churches and mosques, in the medians of roads and at designated places within communities, such as marketplaces, lorry stations, police stations and on the compounds of a number of organisations to serve as windbreaks during rainstorms.
Farmers, particularly cocoa farmers, would also be expected to plant trees on their farms to provide shade for cocoa, with individuals encouraged to plant in their homes.
The Forestry Commission has already distributed more than five million seedlings to various faith-based organisations, traditional authorities, youth groups, state agencies, private entities and individuals in all 16 regions to be planted in their various localities.
For instance, Greater Accra received 450,000 seedlings, Central - 400,000, Western - 250,000, Western North - 420,000 and Ashanti - one million.
The rest are: Ahafo - 170,000, Bono - 250,000, Bono East - 300,000, Eastern - 750,000, Volta - 200,000, Oti - 150,000, Northern - 250,000, North East - 120,000, Savannah - 250,000, Upper East - 170,000 and Upper West - 150,000.
The collection points for the seedlings include the offices of all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, district forest offices and all public senior high schools.
Additional points in the urban areas are all the malls — West Hills, Accra, A and C, the Kumasi and the Takoradi malls.
The tree planting exercise today is scheduled to start with the President, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, and the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah, planting trees.
Other high-profile personalities who have shown interest in the project are former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama, as well as the Rawlings Foundation.
Credit: primenewsghana | Additional information by Daily Graphic newspaper