Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister has cautioned Ghanaians rearing cattle, sheep and goats to control the movement of the animals to prevent grazing and destruction of tree seedlings planted under the Green Ghana Project (GGP).
She observed some owners of such animals, despite having employed shepherds and caretakers left them (animals) loose to graze and move around in the communities to destroy tree seedlings and other plants.
Madam Owusu-Banahene gave the caution when speaking at the Bono Region’s observation of the Green Ghana Day on the theme “Mobilizing for a Greener Future” on Friday in Sunyani.
She warned that those who would leave their animals to graze on the tree seedlings planted “under this special exercise” would not be spared.
It was jointly organized by the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), the Sunyani Technical University (STU) and the regional office of the Forestry Commission (FC) in collaboration with the Regional Coordinating Council.
Madam Owusu-Banahene appealed to religious and traditional leaders to desist from pleading with authorities on behalf of culprits (arrested owners of unconfined animals), stressing that “such interventions do not help the country and you must allow the law to take its course to serve as a deterrent to others.”
The Regional Minister, therefore, directed the Municipal/District Assemblies to strengthen their by-laws against roaming of animals in the communities to avoid the destruction of planted tree seedlings to save financial, time and other resources invested in the GGP from going to waste.
Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), UENR stated the goal of the nationwide tree seedlings planting exercise “is a good venture to keep the environment alive and healthy to contribute to the national agenda of climate change mitigation.
He emphasized the need for school children to be encouraged to plant at least one tree seedling to mark their birthdays to let them understand and appreciate the value of planting and nurturing tree seedlings in their communities.
Prof. Asare-Bediako announced the University had already planted more than 6000 trees in the region and hoped the institution would plant an additional 1.2 million this year to support the effort of reforestation of the region.
Prof. Kwadwo Adinkra-Appiah, the VC of the STU appealed to individuals, and corporate and non-governmental organisations to be involved in the exercise in beautifying Ghana’s environment for a greener future.
He said the staff and students at the University were planting 2,000 tree seedlings to commemorate the Green Ghana Day, adding that 10,000 more tree seedlings would be planted within the year as a legacy project for the institution’s 55th-anniversary celebration to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Madam Owusu-Banahene, Prof. Asare-Bediako and Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah planted the first three tree seedlings both at the frontage of the UNER Basic School and behind the Ghana Education Trust Fund hostel of STU as commemorative planting to mark the day.