‘Green Ghana’ day, which took place on June 11th, has been officially declared an annual event. Ghana embarked on a nationwide campaign through its Green Ghana Project to plant 5 million trees across the country. This initiative is an effort to save the country’s depleting forests and give back to the environment.
At Jubilee House, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo participated in the activities by planting a tree and delivering an important message to the country. “Today’s nationwide exercise will not be a one-off event. We intend to enhance ongoing afforestation programmes and see to the sustainable exploitation of our forest resources,” he said. Ghana is noted as being one of the tropical nations around the world with the highest percentage of loss of its rainforests. Over the last 30 years, Ghana’s forests have been impacted through mining and development activities causing serious deforestation of the country’s landscape. The initiative engaged people across the country through the donation of free seedlings at all local Forestry Commission District offices, District Assembly Offices and local shopping centres.
Ghana Tourism Authority and the Beyond the Return Secretariat took part in the tree planting activities with the Forestry Commission in Accra. Members of the Diplomatic Corps were also there in their numbers to represent each of their countries in supporting Ghana’s initiative. Ambassador of Colombia to Ghana, Claudia Turbay Quintero was asked to make a keynote address before the planting exercise began. “We are here together to support his [the president’s] initiative representing the friendship and commitment of the countries that each one of us represents in making Ghana, our host country, a great one. “Today, we are more than 33 countries that came to plant our seedlings knowing that it will become a big beautiful healthy tree. We are here also to express our solidarity with the people of Ghana.”
Members from the diaspora community including the African American Association of Ghana and the Ghana Caribbean Association, joined in planting trees to support the initiative and give back to Ghana. “As part of Beyond the Return and as a diasporan, it’s important that we look to the future,” said Gail Nikoi, former President of the African American Association of Ghana. “As a person who has young children who will likely live in Ghana at some point in their lives after they go elsewhere I think that we just need to give back and we need to make sure that it’s an environment that’s conducive to the well being of the future generation…we are committed and excited to be a part of this.”
It’s important that young people are also taking an interest in Ghana’s environment and taking the time to participate in these activities because it’s their future at stake. “We’ve been given the blessing of nature and the environment and what it has to offer us,” said Nii Agyeman Nikoi, a young person who came to the event with his mother. At the end of the day we can’t deny the fact that nature needs us to care for it just as much as it cares for us. It was a great event to get to see a lot of people have the same mindset and care about the same thing. We see the same vision that we need to start taking care of our environment, taking care of the things around us so that we can give it to the people after us.”