Mr Daniel Botwe, Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), has called for the nurturing of trees so they grow well.
“The Green Ghana Project should be sustained throughout the year because the trees planted must be nurtured to grow and new ones planted,” he said.
The Minister made the call at a ceremony to mark the Green Ghana Day Project at Aburi Botanical Gardens in the Eastern Region.
In all, 500 new tree species were planted in the Gardens.
The second edition of the Green Ghana Project was launched on March 1, 2022, under the theme: “Mobilising for a Greener Future.”
The target is to plant 20 million trees across the country this year.
The Minister said the set target was a call for action, which could only be achieved if everyone actively supported and participated in the Project.
“The Green Ghana Project is an important exercise that requires the support of citizenry, institutions and bodies, as it borders on our very existence, as the saying goes ‘when the last tree dies, the last man dies,’” he said.
Mr Botwe said the Department of Parks and Gardens under the MLGDRD was available to provide technical support to sustain the Project.
He said the theme for this year’s Project was in line with the “Planting for the Future and Now” Project of the Department of Parks and Gardens.
Thus, the Ministry was well-positioned to collaborate with other agencies to raise awareness and mobilise support for the achievement of the laudable objectives of the Green Ghana Project.
He said the MLGDRD appreciated the effort of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to restore Ghana’s lost vegetation and was ready to collaborate with all stakeholders to harmonise and maximise various interventions.
Mr Botwe said as part of the Ministry’s oversight responsibilities, they had prioritised resourcing the Department of Parks and Gardens to enable it to deliver on its mandate of improving the horticultural potential of Ghana’s urban and rural areas.
He said that would include the rehabilitation of the Aburi Botanical Gardens to international standards to provide a serene and natural environment for relaxation for both domestic and foreign visitors.
The Minister said this year, the Department was also targeting the greening of road medians and walkways. He said the project was important for the efforts being made by the global community to address the effects of climate change.
The Minister said the negative impact of climate change all over the world was an indication for countries to rise up to the occasion and implement mitigation and adaptation measures to build resilient safe and sustainable cities, towns and villages.
He said the sub-national structures comprising Regional Coordinating Councils and Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) had the responsibility to develop, improve and manage human settlements and the environment in their districts.
Mr Botwe said the Ministry had, therefore, charged the MMDAs to support the Parks and Gardens Unit within the MMDA with basic logistical support for effective work.
He said they should also liaise with Regional Parks and Gardens for needed support and assist the MMDAs in the building and revamping of parks in their jurisdictions.
The Minister said his outfit, through the Department would achieve that by collaborating with all stakeholders to plant and prune trees, beautify ceremonial routes, road medians or office and residential frontages, and create parks and develop open spaces.
Mr Frank Aidoo, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Akuapem South, said as part of the planting exercise, the Municipal Assembly took delivery of ten thousand seedlings of a variety of trees.
He said the seedlings had been distributed across the 26 electoral areas to be planted under the leadership of the various Assembly Members.
The MCE said identifiable groups had also been given some seedlings to be planted.
“It is our firm belief that trees are green gold and are priceless. Thus, our commitment to planting trees will not only be done on selected dates or occasions but will be a frequent practice that will make our environment unique and be classified as one of the most beautiful places in this country if not the world as a whole,” he said.
The ceremony was attended by personnel from MLGDRD, Akuapem South Municipality, traditional leaders, security agencies, and students, among others.