The Chief of Bibiani Divisional Area in the Bibiani Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipality of the Western North Region, Nana Ngoah Anyimah Kodom II, has suggested to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to hand over the Green Ghana Tree Planting Exercise to the various recognized chiefs and traditional office holders who are around forests dominated and forest depleted areas in the country.
He was of the view that his checks have revealed that the central government through Forestry Commission had engaged the wrong hands or personalities in planting the trees, making government of President Akufo-Addo not to achieve its set target of planting 20 million trees in this year’s Green Ghana Project.
President Akufo-Addo has set a target of 20million trees to be planted in this year’s Green Ghana Project.
At the launch in Accra this morning, he noted with concern that “despite the importance of the forest to human existence, our forests are depleting at an alarming rate.”
That, he said was because “some 18 years ago, half of the earth’s surface was covered by forest; with an estimated forest area of 4 billion hectares, forest cover less than 30% of the world’s surface.”
He, therefore, noted that “in the last three decades alone, the world has lost 1 billion and 37 million, 846 thousand, 602 arches of the forest, more than 10% of the current total forest area.”
But Nana Ngoah Anyimah Kodom II mentioned that those individuals who were engaged by the government to plant the trees were messed up, saying that they are not planting the proper seedlings nursery tress, resulting to the untimely death of some of the trees planted.
He said over billions of the trees planted in 2021 in the country have not survived.
"With this upcoming government flagship Green Ghana Project, the government used billions of dollars to contract individuals and these people go and collect the seedlings from the various forests and come to nursery them and sell to the government at the very exorbitant prices.
"And l saying that all this project should be given to the recognized chiefs and traditional authorities who are sitting in the forest or forest depleted areas to carry the exercise. Because those engaged in the exercise by the government would just go and remove the seedlings from the forests and they never made any nursery of the seedlings," Nana Ngoah Anyimah Kodom II spilled the beans and called on the President to sit up by way of empowering the chiefs to take over the trees planting exercise nationwide.
Speaking in an interview with Soireenews.com via telephone call on Tuesday May 23, 2023, Nana Ngoah Anyimah Kodom II indicated his commitment and readiness to help the central government plant more trees in his localities.
The Bibiani chief pointed out that he already planted over 2000 trees within the last forty (40) days to supplement the President Akufo-Addo vision of planting 20 million trees nationwide.
According to Nana Ngoah Anyimah Kodom II, he and his followers have been taking good care of the various trees they had planted in his localities and that last week they went to area to use the cutlass to dress blanches of the trees.
He noted that they also replaced the trees which have died. So if the government allows all the chiefs and traditional leaders in the country and and empower them with resources and tools to carry the exercise it would help the government to achieve its target.
The Bibiani chief noted that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has demonstrated his readiness and commitment to help the government to achieve its target of planting 20 million trees in this year’s Green Ghana Project by launching the 2023 edition of the Green Ghana Day in Kumasi, with a call on all Ghanaians and residents in the country to come out in their numbers and support the national tree planting exercise.
He said the government should allowed the chiefs including the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Ga Mantse in the Greater Accra Region, Paramount Chief of Akyem Abuakwa, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin to handle the project by setting the target for them of the trees to be planted.
The Bibianihene lauded the government for initiating the Green Ghana Project.
He underscored the importance of trees to environmental protection, climate change mitigation, and the survival of the planet.
He said it was because of these benefits that he committed to plant some 2000 trees towards the protection of his areas.
The Bibiani chief bemoaned the wanton destruction of forests due to illegal mining and illegal logging.
He said chiefs and members of the local communities cannot feign ignorance about those involved in this destruction.
“The government cannot do it alone. We must all get involved and support government to come to grips with these matters,” he stressed.
The Green Ghana Day was first launched by the government in 2021, under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, as part of an aggressive afforestation and reforestation agenda, to restore the lost forest cover of the country.
The maiden edition targeted to plant 5,000,000 trees, but over 7,000,000 trees were planted. Last year, 26,000,000 trees were planted, exceeding the target of 20,000,000.