A nine-member National Planning Committee for the Green Streets Project has been inaugurated to oversee the modernisation and beautification of the major cities in the country.
The Committee is to identify principal or major streets and avenues in the cities, where specific tree species will be planted, develop a detailed strategy, work plan and budget as well as identify sources of funding for the execution of the project.
Members of the committee were drawn from the ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Roads and Highways, Department of Parks and Gardens, Forestry Commission, Ghana Highways Authority, Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Mullen Lowe.
The committee was co-chaired by Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Forestry, and Mr Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Decentralisation.
At the inauguration of the committee in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Lands Minister, tasked the Committee to act virtuously and help the Government to accomplish its goal of greening and improving the quality of air in the cities.
The Department of Parks and Gardens is the lead technical agency to coordinate and implement the project.
Mr Jinapor said the project formed part of the government’s agenda to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 (promoting sustainable towns and cities) and Goal 13 (combating climate change).
Mr Jinapor noted that the government had taken note of the low level of quality of air in the major cities and believed that greening the cities was a sure way of improving and promoting good health.
“The exercise will perform the dual role of improving the environment and making the cities pleasing to the eyes.
“So, specific tree species will be deliberately and cautiously planted to improve the aesthetic beauty of the cities,” Mr Jinapor stated.
“A look around some of the major cities across the world, reveals an intentional planting of types of trees, to add to the aesthetics of the city. London in the United Kingdom, Paris in France, and to some extent, Cairo in Egypt, Abuja in Nigeria and Abidjan in Ivory Coast, are just a few examples”, Mr Jinapor stated.
“Government decided to implement this Green Streets Project as part of measures to beautify our cities and contribute to global climate action.
The overarching objective of the Project is to plant appropriate tree species, capable of providing both aesthetic view and environmental related benefits for a healthy and sustainable world.
Mr Owusu-Bio, in his acceptance address, said members of the Committee accepted the responsibility to work conscientiously to meet the task assigned to them.
Mr Adjei-Mensah Korsah, on his part, said the partnership between his Ministry and the other ministries, departments and agencies was an indication of the preparedness of public institutions to work together for the country’s growth.