YOUR EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
YOUR EXCELLENCY THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
MADAM CHIEF OF STAFF
SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT
MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE FORESTRY COMMISSION
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
Mr. President, it is always good to be back in Jubilee House. We are gathered here this afternoon, pursuant to your vision and instruction, to witness the planting of the commemorative tree for the launch of Green Ghana Day. Across the country, Ghanaians and, indeed, residents of Ghana, are engaged in the planting of some five million trees.
Reports across the country, Mr. President, indicates that Ghanaians have embraced your call, and are enthusiastically and actively planting trees.
I should point out that Ghana’s forest cover, as at nineteen hundred (1900) stood at some eight million two hundred thousand (8.2 million) hectares. It has been depleted over the years by an astonishing eighty percent (80%) to the current state of one million, six hundred thousand (1.6m) hectares.
This situation is as a result of years of degradation, deforestation, lack of effective afforestation and action. Ghana’s forest cover is depleting at a very alarming and unsustainable rate, and the time to do something about it is now.
The guiding principles of the Green Ghana Day, as envisioned by the President of the Republic, are as follows:
- we seek to plant a minimum of five (5) million trees today;
- the logistics, resources, funding, manpower and participation in this exercise are national, broad-based, non-partisan, citizen ownership, and anchored on collective action;
- this will be a yearly exercise, with increases in the number of trees each Green Ghana Day, with the goal of one hundred million (100,000,000) trees being planted in a day, all within the second term of the Akufo-Addo Presidency. Green Ghana Clubs in our educational institutions will be set up to support our efforts;
- economic and fruit trees, such as timber, rose wood, nim, wawa, mango, orange, coconut are to be planted to serve as both forest cover and investments, so as to contribute to the growth of the economy;
- the seedlings planted will be nurtured, nursed and monitored to maturity. A monitoring team has been constituted and chaired by the dependable Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr. John Allotey, which will present quarterly reports on how the trees are growing, and, at the first anniversary of the 2021 Green Ghana Day, that is, 11th June 2022, a comprehensive report on how well we have done with the five million trees will be submitted.
The survival of the seedlings planted is more important than the planting. We intend to do everything possible to ensure we achieve a high rate of survival; and
- this exercise will not constitute the cessation of ongoing afforestation programmes; on the contrary, we intend to enhance such efforts.
Ladies and gentlemen, on my own behalf and that of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, I thank the President of the Republic for his foresight and support throughout the planning and execution of this ambitious undertaking.
To the Vice President, Madam Chief of Staff and Colleague Ministers, we thank you for all your support. We truly appreciate the co-operation of Parliament, the Judiciary, Manhyia Palace, Ofori Panin Palace, Gbewa Palace and several other palaces across the country.
Churches, Mosques, citizens and residents of Ghana, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, civil society groups, political parties, social organizations, diplomatic missions, corporate Ghana, the business community, traditional authorities, all have played significant roles in this national exercise. I say thank you.
Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Madam Chief of Staff, Ladies and Gentlemen, in the course of the second term of the Akufo-Addo Presidency, we, at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, commit to mobilize the mass of our population to restore the forest cover of our country.
Whoever you are, and wherever you are in Ghana, plant a tree, for:
- planting a tree will green Ghana;
- planting a tree makes you a citizen and not a spectator;
- planting a tree will help fix our forest cover;
- planting a tree will help protect our water bodies; and
- planting a tree is noble and godly.
Green Ghana; Let’s go planting!!!
I thank you for your attention.