The programme aims to enhance national awareness of the necessity for collective action toward the restoration of degraded landscapes in the country, inculcating values of planting and nurturing trees in the youth, mitigating climate change, and beautifying the communities and environment.
At least 20 million trees are to be planted across the country, as part of the aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme, to restore the lost forest cover and contribute to global climate action.
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources announced this in Parliament on Wednesday when he presented a statement on this year's Green Ghana Day campaign, with the objective of soliciting the support of members to enhance awareness.
He explained that Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will plant a tree in Tamale while the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin and his two Deputy speakers will plant theirs within the precincts of Parliament, and the Chief Justice, Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah, will plant a tree within the environs of the Supreme Court.
Making a case for the environment, Mr Jinapor informed Parliament that the climate crisis was reaching a tipping point.
“According to the experts, greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest levels in two million (2,000,000) years, and they continue to rise. The Earth is now 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than it was in the late 1800s, with the last decade being the warmest period. Ice in the Antarctic and glaciers are melting, rain patterns are changing, rivers and streams are drying up, and sea temperatures are rising,” he said.
“Mr Speaker, here in our own country, the Ghana Meteorological Agency reports that Ghana has experienced more than One Degree Celsius (10C) increase in temperature in the last three decades. The effect of this on our daily lives is obvious, tidal waves sweeping over coastal communities, frequent droughts, perennial floods, temperature rise, erratic rainfall patterns, food insecurity and poverty, among others,”
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and maintain a livable climate. But, at the current rate, global warming is projected to reach 3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
“The good news, Mr Speaker, is that we have a solution, which is within our reach; forests. Also referred to as the “Lungs of the Earth,” forests play a crucial role in the sustainability of our planet and our survival, by absorbing carbon dioxide and contributing to emission reduction. Regrettably, however, the world's forests are being depleted at an alarming rate,” he said.
To reverse the disturbing situation, President Akufo-Addo, in 2021, launched the Green Ghana Project, as part of an aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme.
He said the maiden edition of the Green Ghana Day, which started last year with the support of members and Ghanaians planted over seven million trees, exceeding the target of five million.
He said reports from the Forestry Commission indicated that about 80% of those trees had survived and were doing very well.