Benito Owusu-Bio, the deputy minister for Lands and Natural Resources has challenged Ghanaians to consider the enormous benefits of trees to the country and participate in the national tree planting exercise christened “Green Ghana Project”.
Speaking at a ceremony in Kumasi to kick off the project, Benito-Owusu asserted that after years of degradation, the time has arrived for Ghanaians to join forces to save our forest cover and to a large extent the environment.
He insisted that the project is a national duty that requires the effort and support of every patriotic citizen.
Benito Owusu-Bio highlighted the wide array of benefits the forest offers and stressed the need for all Ghanaians to help protect it.
He also used the platform to remind Ghanaians of government’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal mining, illegal logging and other activities which are inimical to the forest.
“There is lots of benefits the forest offers the country in the form of livelihood support, wildlife, income support, export of food products among others. In spite of these benefits the forest is being degraded due to our own actions such as illegal mining, illegal logging, and bushfires.
“Therefore, in order to enjoy the numerous benefits, the forest offers, there is the need for urgent action to reverse the trend of deforestation and degradation. We are committed to planting the tree and protecting our forest”.
At the same event, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu who planted the first tree lauded the initiative and called on Ghanaians to partake in it.
The Asantehene maintained that the survival of human being depends on the trees hence the need to plant trees and protect lives.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah expressed the need for persons engaged in illegal mining and logging to desist from acts which are harmful to the environment.
“Otumfuo saw the vision years ago and the nation has now adopted it so let’s applaud him. We are going to commence one million trees in Ashanti Region which is commencing this morning but if we plant one million and illegal miners destroy ten million, what would we gain. In essence, all hands must be on deck to fight this canker. I want to ensure that Ashanti Region will ensure that this project becomes a success.”