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UN Trust Fund to provide sustainable solutions to forest degradation

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Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin planting one of the seedlings and Barima Okurupi Botuo Danquah (L), Chief of Sagyimase and Bamuhene Okyeman Nifa traditional council, doing the watering.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Angela Lusigi watering one of the seedlings she planted

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Angela Lusigi, has said that the UN Trust Fund on Human Security seeks to provide support for sustainable solutions to the complex challenges on forest degradation in the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area of the Eastern Region.

She urged the Okyeman Foundation, civil society organisations, and the communities not only to restore forest cover, but also to improve social outcomes and expand local livelihood opportunities.

“As part of the UN family in Ghana, UNDP is committed to supporting national and local efforts to address the root causes of multidimensional poverty and natural resource degradation,” said Madam Angela Lusigi.

Building on the work of the Okeyman Foundation, Madam Angela Lusigi disclosed that the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Volunteers (UNV) were bringing all their expertise and resources together to support the commendable efforts of his Royal Majesty Osagyefo Amoatia Oforipanin to tackle issues of deforestation in Akyem Abuakwa and enhance sustainable livelihoods.

A cross-section of officials from the UNDP

Delivering a speech on the 2022 edition of the Green Ghana Day at Kyebi in the Akyem Abuakwa Municipality, Madam Angela Lusigi reaffirmed that UNDP remained committed to working with all our partners to support the government and people of Ghana, so that the country could realise her ambitious development agenda and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our forests, grasslands, croplands, wetlands, savannahs, and other terrestrial to inland water ecosystems, marine and coastal ecosystems are at risk and now it is time to act and we are therefore all faced with an incredible opportunity to transform lives and ensure a sustainable future by restoring degraded ecosystems,” she lamented.

Madam Angela Lusigi explained that by working together, the country can bring positive change with real results on the ground, to safeguard the future for generations to come, adding that the support of every Ghanaian will be able to achieve the ambitious goals for today and for our project ahead.

The exercise was organised by the Forestry Commission, and supported by the UNDP), Okyeman Environment Foundation (OEF), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Office of the President to plant 150,000 tree seedlings in the Atewa Forest at Kyebi in the Eastern Region.

On his part, the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, stated that the exercise formed part of the government’s Green Ghana initiative to further preserve the vegetation cover of the Atewa Forest reserve.

He said the planting of trees was very necessary, since that would go a long way to protect the environment, adding that it was important for children, especially school children, to be taught how to plant trees.

The Okyenhene expressed worry about the manner in which individuals were destroying the forest for their selfish interests, stressing that the world was united ecologically and, therefore, when we destroy the ecological system, we destroy ourselves.

According to the Okyenhene, it was very selfish to cut down trees or destroy any part of the ecological system, adding that it was rather proper, as a human being, to take good care of the trees for the generations yet unborn to enjoy.

Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, who is also an Environmentalist, further called on his people and the entire populace to support the government’s Green Ghana Day initiative, which seeks to plant 20 million trees this year.

“All Ghanaians must get themselves involved in the tree seedlings, planting and taking care of them to grow. No one is going to get rich doing this but it is a service that will enhance our living and our environment so plant a tree today and watch it grow,” the Okyenhene charged.

The Kyebi District Manager of the Forestry Commission, Emmanuel Antwi, who was excited over the exercise, indicated that species such as Mahogany, Ofram, Emire and Cassia had been planted in the Atewa Forest Reserve.

He applauded the efforts and participation of the Okyenhene, while highlighting his role in last year’s edition of the Green Ghana campaign, saying, “With your leadership and support last year during Green Ghana, the Eastern Region exceeded its target of 500,000 trees, as we planted 700,000, and we’re grateful.”

Mr. Antwi lauded the Okyenhene for taking charge in Ghana’s effort to plant 20 million trees in the country, through the Okyeman Environment Foundation.

ISAAC AKWETEY-OKUNOR

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