Dr Jones Mantey, Regional Manager, Sustainable Development, Gold Fields Ghana Limited (GFGL), has entreated Ghanaians to help revive the damaged ecosystem.
He said: “The healthier our ecosystem, the healthier our planet and its people. Restoring our planet gives us the chance to build a healthy future”.
“In 2010 Ghana had seven million hectares of natural forest but in 2021 we lost 101 kilo hectares of tree covers. Between 2001 and 2021 the Western Region had the most tree cover loss of about 499 kilo hectares compared to the national average of 141 which was quite alarming” he explained.
He announced that Gold Fields was a signatory to the Paris Declaration, and they fully support the United Nations (UN) decade of ecosystem restoration as well as the Green Ghana project because of the relevance of trees to human life.
He mentioned that during the last Green Ghana Day celebration, the mine joined the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa and planted 3,000 seedlings at their campus to beautify the area and provide shade, adding, that this was the Mines contribution to the Green Ghana Day programme and the UN decade of ecosystem restoration.
“At Gold Fields, our Tarkwa and Damang Mines have planted close to two million trees under our operation and where we have mined, we also do progressive rehabilitation. Our number one target is to try to achieve net gain, so that is our stewardship towards the environment” Mr Mantey added.
He reminded Ghanaians that “Article 41 of our country's constitution imposes a duty on every citizen to protect and safeguard the environment. Ghanaians should therefore consider tree planting as a way of fulfilling that institutional obligation.”
Mr Vincent Appiah, Municipal Director of Forestry Commission, said the Tarkwa Forest District was made up of five administrations which included; Tarkwa-Nsuaem, Prestea Huni-Valley, and Nzema East, Jomoro and Ellembele.
He said some of the trees they planted were economic trees, shade, and fruits, adding,” We hope to exceed the 300,000 seedlings we have targeted to plant this year to 344,000.”
Mr Edmond Aggrey-Forson, Municipal Director of Education said, “We should not only inculcate in the school children the habit of planting trees but to nature them so in future they can say with pride that they participated in this important exercise”.
Nana Adarkwa Bediako III, Apinto Gyaasehene, commended the Community Affairs and the Environmental Department of GFGL, Tarkwa Mine for coordinating the event and bringing together its host communities to celebrate the day.