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GREEN GHANA DAY 2024: "Let us go out, not only to plant trees but to grow them for a greener tomorrow" - President Akufo-Addo

In a rousing speech at Burma Camp’s Nicholson Stadium, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo underscored the urgency of environmental action during the 2024 Green Ghana Day celebration.

The President highlighted the critical role of forests in combating climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, and called on Ghanaians to actively participate in this year’s national tree-planting initiative.

Addressing a gathering of dignitaries, officials, and citizens, President Akufo-Addo drew attention to the severe impacts of climate change, citing the extreme heatwaves in South Sudan and the Horn of Africa as examples.

He noted that air pollution claims approximately 6.7 million lives annually and that biodiversity loss is threatening ecosystems globally.

“Science tells us that forests are essential in sustaining life on earth and tackling the triple planetary crises,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

He emphasized that Agriculture, Forest, and Land Use (AFOLU) activities significantly contribute to Ghana’s greenhouse gas emissions.

He, therefore, stressed that maintaining forests was crucial for carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and pollution control.

Since the launch of the Green Ghana Project, over 42 million trees have been planted.

The 2024 goal, he explained was to plant an additional 10 million trees, aiming for a total of 52 million trees within four years.

This initiative aligns with Ghana's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 64 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030.

The President urged all Ghanaians to embrace this year’s theme, “Growing for a Greener Tomorrow,” and stressed the importance of nurturing planted trees to maturity.

He also called on the private sector to support this venture, ensuring it does not strain public finances.

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 promotes environmental stewardship among the youth.

“Let us go out, not only to plant trees but to grow them for a Greener Tomorrow. This is a duty we owe not only to the current generation but to generations yet to come,” President Akufo-Addo declared.

Taking his turn, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, 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.

Mr. Jinapor expressed gratitude to the Ghana Armed Forces for their crucial role in the program's logistics and seedling distribution.

He announced that the Armed Forces planted over 1,000 tree seedlings to support the 2024 Green Ghana Day.

He hinted that Ghana had made significant strides in global forest management and climate action.

At COP26 in Glasgow, Ghana played a key role in the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030.

This leadership has been recognized globally, leading to Ghana co-chairing the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) with the United States.

This partnership aims to balance forest protection with food production and advance nature-based climate solutions.

Mr. Jinapor highlighted 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.

On his part, Mr. John Allotey, CEO of the Forestry Commission, appreciated the President for his immense support and guidance over the four years of Green Ghana Day.

He also applauded Minister Jinapor for his excellent leadership, which has contributed significantly to the success of this important cause.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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