Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, the Director-General, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), says it is important to keep parks and trees as part of the structure and formation of our cities.
He said Ghana’s cities were made up of built areas, but these buildings only become ecstatically attractive when they have some form of green area around them.
“We must endeavour to plan our cities in such a way that we keep parks and trees and make them part of the structure of the cities. If we take out the trees, erosion will be accelerated, microclimate will
change and temperatures will go up, and the weather patterns will also change.”
Dr Mensah-Abrampa made this observation during the tree planting exercise organised together with the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly (KOKMA), as part of the “Green Ghana Day” initiative on Friday, in Accra.
He said the Commission had a critical role to play in natural resource development and was responsible for protecting all resources of the country by making sure they were used for the wellbeing of all and protected for posterity.
He said over the years Ghana had lost over 30 percent of its forest cover and it was important to gradually cultivate the habit of planting more trees and protecting them in the future.
“For us there are two key things, we must protect the trees or forests that is standing, and also add on to the growth.”
Dr Mensah-Abrampa noted that the mission of
adding on was what the President had launched, and planting 20 million tree seedlings would go a long way to bring back the greenery of the cities.
“But beyond that we must make it a culture and attitude to protect our forest and greenery and it must start with our children. Once we inculcate that attitude in them, we will begin to protect the trees and ensue that this becomes the character of our nation.”
He urged Ghanaians to ensure to make nurturing and maintaining the green areas part of their lives as well.
“We must have defined responsibilities as a country and the voluntary spirit of Ghanaians must come back to help achieve this aim of bringing the forests and parks back, making them relevant and part of us.”
Nii Adjei Tawiah, the Municipal Chief Executive, KOKMA said the Assembly’s target was to plant 2,650 seedlings this year along the parks, pavements and green areas within the Municipality.
He said the “Green Ghana Day” initiative was a good one to help bring back the greenery of the country, but it was important to pay particular attention to the type of trees that would be planted in certain areas.
He said the Assembly had identified open places within the Municipality where they would gradually develop into green areas beyond the exercise to beautify the city.
Nii Tawiah said the tree seedlings planted were not just to benefit the generation but also to benefit the future generation as well and urged Ghanaians to actively participate in it in order to help reverse the trend of global warming.
“According to the President, over 80 percent of the tress seedlings planted last year have survived and we are hopeful that these ones we are planting this year will yield 100 percent growth. There is going to be deliberate processes to ensure that these trees grow to satisfaction.”
On indiscriminate cutting down of trees, he appealed to all to get involved to create awareness on the negative impact of cutting down trees and reporting people who flout the laws for them to be punished accordingly.
The “Green Ghana Day” initiative is under the distinguished leadership of the President and forms part of the government’s aggressive afforestation programme to restore the lost forest cover and contribute to the global efforts to fight climate change.
It is also intended to create enhanced national awareness of the necessity for collective action towards the restoration of degraded landscapes in the country and inculcate in the youth the values of planting and nurturing trees.
This year’s exercise on the theme “Mobilizing for a Greener Future,”, targets at least 20 million tree seedlings across the country, at a cost of GHc 9.6 million.