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Akufo-Addo champions a greener future as Ghana marks 2024 Green Ghana Day

By primenewsghana
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President Akufo-Addo on Friday, June 7, 2024, championed the cause of a Greener future as he delivered an impassioned speech at Burma Camp, Accra, to mark the 2024 edition of Green Ghana Day.

Addressing the gathered dignitaries, officials, and citizens, the President emphasized the urgent need to combat climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, underscoring the critical role of forests in this battle.

Highlighting the alarming impacts of climate change, President Akufo-Addo referenced the dire situation in South Sudan and the Horn of Africa, where extreme heatwaves are threatening human habitation.

He noted that air pollution is responsible for approximately 6.7 million deaths annually, and biodiversity loss continues to endanger ecosystems worldwide.

“The science tells us that forests play a crucial role in sustaining life on earth and tackling the triple planetary crises,” the President stated. He pointed out that Agriculture, Forest, and Land Use (AFOLU) activities contribute significantly to Ghana’s greenhouse gas emissions, and maintaining forests is essential for carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and pollution control.

He noted that since the inception of the Green Ghana Project, over 42 million trees have been planted, and the 2024 goal is to add another 10 million, bringing the total to 52 million trees in just four years. This ambitious target he said aligns with Ghana’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 64 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030.

President Akufo-Addo called on all Ghanaians to embrace the theme of this year’s Green Ghana Day, “Growing for a Greener Tomorrow.”

He urged citizens from all walks of life to participate in the national tree planting exercise, emphasizing the importance of nurturing the planted trees to maturity to achieve a sustainable future.

He also appealed to the private sector to support this noble venture, emphasizing that it should not burden the public treasury. Special commendation was given to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, for his leadership in sustaining the Green Ghana Project and the One Student One Tree initiative, which instills the importance of environmental stewardship in the youth.

The President concluded by calling for a collective effort to sustain the gains made in the past three years. “Let us go out, not only to plant trees, but grow them for a ‘Green Tomorrow.’ This is a duty we owe not only to the current generation but to generations yet to come,” he declared.

In his address, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, praised President Akufo-Addo’s unwavering support for the Green Ghana initiative.

He highlighted the President’s leadership in environmental protection and forest restoration since the program’s inception in 2021.

Minister Jinapor expressed gratitude to the Ghana Armed Forces for their vital role in the program’s organisational success, particularly in the logistics and distribution of seedlings, while announcing their planting of over 1000 tree seedlings as their quota to support the 2024 Green Ghana Day.

The Minister outlined Ghana’s significant strides in global forest management and climate action. At COP26 in Glasgow, Ghana played a pivotal role in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. This leadership has been recognized globally, leading to Ghana’s co-chairing of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) alongside the United States. This partnership aims to balance forest protection with food production and advance nature-based climate solutions.

Highlighting the impact of these initiatives, Jinapor noted that Ghana was the second country in Africa and the third globally to receive results-based payments from the World Bank’s Carbon Fund for reducing emissions.

“The Green Ghana Day has become a cornerstone of these efforts, with the survival rate of planted trees increasing significantly each year, from 67% in 2021 to 81% in 2023. This year’s theme, “Growing for a Greener Tomorrow,” reflects the commitment to not just planting trees but ensuring their growth and contribution to the fight against climate change” he added.

The Minister called on all Ghanaians to support the initiative, emphasizing the availability of adequate seedlings across the country and the measures in place to ensure high survival rates for the planted trees.

He echoed the President’s call for collective action to secure a greener and more sustainable future for the country and the planet.

With this rallying call, President Akufo-Addo and Minister Jinapor reinforced Ghana’s commitment to creating a greener and more sustainable future, urging all citizens to join hands in this critical national endeavor.

Mr. John Allotey, the CEO of the Forestry Commission in his vote of thanks appreciated the President for his immense support and guidance over the 4-year Green Ghana Day and applauded the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources for his excellent leadership that has aided in the success of this worthy cause.