Ahead of the 2023 Green Ghana Day, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, in the company of his Deputy Minister responsible for Lands and Forestry, Mr. Benito Owusu-Bio, and other officials of the Ministry, have paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre Kwaku Boateng, to among others, court his support for the 2023, edition of the Green Ghana Day and seek his permission and blessing as he commissions Forestry Commission’s Eastern Regional Office.
In his remarks, the Minister said the issues of climate change have become a nationwide concern and for that reason, President Akufo-Addo instituted the Green Ghana Project to help contribute his quota to the fight against climate change and also to restore the country’s degraded landscapes and Forest cover.
He, therefore, humbly requested the Chief to lead his people during the 2023 Green Ghana Day, scheduled for June 9, 2023 to plant some 10 million trees, which he believes will go a long way to complement government’s aggressive afforestation and reafforestation efforts.
He informed the Paramount Chief that his Ministry under the instructions of President Akufo-Addo is working on divesting public lands, which he is aware is of outmost importance to the traditional authorities.
The natural resources of the country, the Minister stressed, remain the property of the people of Ghana, and Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, will continue to pursue policies and programmes for the effective and efficient management and utilisation of these resources for the benefit of the Ghanaian people.
Daasebre Kwaku Boateng graciously received the Minister and his entourage and gave his blessing for the commissioning of the Forestry Commission Regional Office while applauding him for his commitment and hard work since he became Minister.
He, however, bemoaned the wanton destruction of lands in the country through illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as galamsey, which he noted are gradually destroying Ghana’s water supply. He asked that the Minister double up efforts to bring an end to the cause of this destruction before it completely cuts off the country’s water supply.
Daasebre assured the Minister of his support and that of his subjects on the 2023 Green Ghana Day while requesting him to frequent the region more often.
The Minister has, meanwhile, commissioned an ultra-modern office complex for the Eastern Regional Forestry Commission. The facility comprises of thirteen offices, a conference room, kitchenette and reception will help the Regional Forestry Commission execute its mandate in the seven forest districts in the region.
Addressing the gathering at the event in Koforidua, Minister Jinapor touched on the impact of climate change on the country and the world at large.
He said government, aware of the dire consequences of climate change has taken decisive and far-reaching forest protection policies which are anchored on two important pillars – aggressive afforestation and reforestation and protection of the existing forest cover of the country.
A feature of the aggressive afforestation module, Jinapor explained is the Green Ghana project which is the flagship afforestation program of the government. With the 2023 edition of the Green Ghana Project set for June 9, the Lands Minister leveraged on the opportunity to rally Ghanaians towards the event.
Laying emphasis on the grave situation the world finds itself in with respect to the impact of climate change, the Minister appealed to Ghanaians to participate in the event which he is certain will enable the country recover a significant size of its lost forestry cover and contribute to global efforts towards reducing climate change.
“Government’s policy in respect of the forestry sector of the country is anchored on two main pillars. The first one is our strategy of aggressive afforestation and reforestation. By this, we are talking about restoring the forest cover of our country.
The statistics tell us that from 1902 till date, we’ve lost some 80% of our forest cover of our country and therefore it is the policy and strategy of government to be involved in reafforestation and reforestation which is why several initiatives have been put in place including several interventions in forestry areas in our country to ensure that we plant more trees.
That is why on June 9, 2023 we are going to have the President lead the country to plan 10million trees which will take us to 30million plus trees since 2021”, he stated.
“The second strategy is to protect the existing forest cover of our country. Whiles we are planting the trees, we need to have a policy and program which will ensure that existing forests are well-protected.
That is why I want to believe that the intervention by government to provide office spaces for the forestry commission of Eastern Region will aid and help protect the 48 forest reserves in the region,” he added.
Whiles commending the Forestry Commission of the Eastern Region for the magnificent edifice, Hon. Jinapor assured them of the support of government to fight all forms of illegalities in the forest reserves without fear or favor.
He tasked them to execute their mandate with the confidence and zeal that they have the utmost backing of President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the office of the Minister of Lands and the government at large.
The Minister disclosed that government will continue to provide support in the areas of logistics, welfare, equipment, personnel, capacity building, among others to enable the commission discharge its duties to perfection.
“Officials of the Forestry Commission have the support of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to discharge your mandate without fear or favor. Protect the forest reserves of our country, protect them from all intruders, be it illegal miners, cocoa farmers or illegal loggers,” he said.
Mr. John Allotey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission revealed some major details about the building which was constructed by Bonzies Construction Limited.
He expressed with optimism that the new office will enable the management and staff in the region provide adequate protection of the forest reserves in the region.
Mr. Allotey also provided update on preparations for the Green Ghana Day, explaining that all seedlings needed for the project have been acquired.
He made a passionate appeal to Ghanaians to turn up in their numbers on the day and help the government achieve its target of 10million trees.