The Chairman of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, on Friday, June 10, 2022, joined the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and other high-profile personalities to mark the ‘Green Ghana Day,’ which is targeted at planting 20 million trees across the country.
At a ceremony held at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra to mark the day, the President, some Ministers of State, Apostle Nyamekye, and the Ga Mantse, among others planted ceremonial trees to initiate this year’s project.
In an address, President Akufo-Addo called all Ghanaians to participate in the exercise to ensure a resounding success.
According to the President, the ‘Green Ghana Day’ has no political coloration as “we all agree that we must leave generations unborn no matter their political affiliation with a greener and sustainable future.”
The President said the 20million seedlings target, even though ambitious, is nowhere near what the nation has lost over the years. He explained that trees and forest are necessary for the survival of Ghana and that of the economy, since trees provide furniture, food and mitigate climate change. He added that trees prevent erosion, protect water bodies, serve as sources of medicine, habitat for wildlife and microorganisms, regulate atmospheric temperature, give clean air for good health and offer sources of livelihood for many people.
He called on every Ghanaian and people living in Ghana to plant at least a seedling in their locality to green the environment.
Speaking to the press, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, on his part, stressed the need to plant more trees to reclaim the lost forest and safeguard the environment.
He commended the President for leading the national crusade to make Ghana green again, having led the entire nation to plant over 5million trees on the maiden ‘Green Ghana Day’ in June 2021.
According to Apostle Nyamekye, greening Ghana will come with a lot of benefits to the nation as it would help stem climate change, improve the environment and revamp the economy.
Touching on The Church of Pentecost’s Vision 2023 concerning the environment, he said the church’s vision synchronizes with the ‘Green Ghana Agenda’ of the government of Ghana, hence the active involvement by the church.
He disclosed that The Church of Pentecost will support this year’s project by planting 1 million trees out of the targeted 20 million trees.
“We need to be thinking about the future of this country and posterity. Through our actions and inactions, we have cut down most of the trees, so we must make conscious efforts to replant them.
“God has laid it upon the heart of the President to reclaim our lost vegetation. This will help us as a people. Therefore, we need to give him our full backing as we possess the nations for Christ and reclaim our environment,” he stated.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor, said in the ministry’s bid to discharge its fiduciary duty of managing the forests and wildlife resources of the country, the ministry, and its agencies, have adopted a two-pronged approach.
The first approach, he said, is to protect the existing forests and wildlife resources by halting deforestation.
“Accordingly, we have suspended all reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploration activities in forest reserves, except in exceptional circumstances.
“We have placed an outright ban on the harvesting, salvaging, trading, exporting, and importing of Rosewood. And effective 2nd July, 2021, we ceased the issuance of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits, which is required, to legally trade in Rosewood on the international market, where the cartels involved in this business ply their trade,” he said.
As part of this year’s Green Ghana Day, approximately half of the target will be implemented within degraded forest reserves across the country. Farmers will be supplied with tree seedlings to plant within and around their farms and key degraded watershed areas around communities will be targeted. Just as it was done in 2021, the citizenry from all walks of life, especially students religious bodies, traditional authorities, corporate Ghana, security agencies and the diplomatic community among others, are expected to actively participate in the exercise.
Tree seedlings to be planted will include native timber tree species, shade trees, multi-purpose leguminous trees, ornamentals and fruit trees.
The seedlings can be obtained from any Regional or District Forestry Office, MMDAs, selected shopping malls and other designated pick-up points across the country.