Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu Bio has touted the success chalked in the country's Green Ghana project as he says 85% of the seedlings planted survived.

According to him, the reports from the National Investigation Bureau (NIB) investigating the seedlings that were planted across the country some 6 months ago confirmed the good news to government.

The Country through the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources led the National Green Ghana Day back in July which targeted the planting of 5 million trees to help cover the country's forest reserves.

Speaking to the media during the meet the press series of the Information Ministry, Mr Benito Owusu Bio stressed that, the rate of success of the planted trees is a clear indication that the decision to embark on the project was spot on.

He added that, the Forestry Commission after planting the trees instituted a monitoring and evaluation team which has been following up on the trees and it is also helping to make the project success.

Mr Owusu Bio also added that, they have created a platform that will enable members of the public to take pictures with the trees they planted to help whip up the interest of others to increase rate of planting and nurturing the plants.

Green Ghana 2022 to plant 20m trees

Twenty million trees are to be planted nationwide next year under the Green Ghana Project being championed by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

According to Mr Benito Owosu-Bio, the Deputy Minister in charge of Lands and Forestry, the figure is an expansion of the exercise, which saw the planting of five million trees in June 2021.

He noted that unlike the June exercise, in which the ministry had to rely solely on donor funds for the tree-planting event, the government has allocated funds for the 2022 edition.

He, however, made a passionate appeal to institutions and benevolent Ghanaians to provide financial support to the ministry to realise the dream of planting, nursing and growing 20 million trees.

Mr Owusu-Bio said the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is aware of the need to protect Ghanaians from the effects of climate change and will continue to institute measures to achieve that.

He noted that the government will step up its effort to combat climate change next year with the introduction of more programmes that will protect the country’s forest cover and environment in general.

In a related development, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission has revealed that the cabinet has given its approval to the wildlife bill.

Mr John Allotey said that after 13 years of back-and-forths, the bill has finally received an endorsement from the cabinet and is now ready for parliament for the next steps to be taken.

He described it as a manifestation of the commitment of the Akufo-Addo government to the protection of Ghana’s forest reserves.

Mr John Allotey said it is a game-changer for his outfit as it will clothe them with the power and funding source to carry out their core duty of protecting Ghana’s forest reserves.

“I’m happy to report that we’ve passed the first critical step of receiving approval from the cabinet. Cabinet has approved the wildlife bill. This means we have the next three years to exhaust the other processes and get it enacted into law".

“This bill is important because although Ghana has signed onto so many international conventions, our laws do not actually support some of them and we needed legislation to back them.”

The Wildlife Resources Management Bill set out to address gaps and shortfalls in the current wildlife laws.

The new Wildlife Resources Management Bill has been developed through a very extensive consultative process involving both state and non-state actors.

Story by Samuel Gyasi