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Forestry Commission launches One Man, One Tree campaign   
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In line with the Forestry Commission Act 571 of 1999, the Forestry Commission of Ghana has launched a campaign dubbed ‘One Man, One Tree.’

The philosophy of the campaign is that if all Ghanaians are able to plant at least one tree every year, approximately 26 million Ghanaians would have planted 26 million trees or more annually.

Assertions are that the trend, if continued in subsequent years, will tremendously increase the vegetative cover of Ghana and the supply of food will outstrip demand.

That will also ensure that forests would continue to play their natural roles, which include absorption of excess carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere in order to prevent dangerous warming of the earth and eventually mitigate climate change.

Mr Samuel Afari-Dartey, Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, at the ‘One Man, One Tree’ campaign launch, stated that the forests being managed by the Forestry Commission provide a lot of environmental services like water protection, which are not paid for by the government or the institutions which directly or indirectly benefit from these services.

This, he said, has resulted in a loss of good income for the Commission and the government, but added that the Commission will soon put measures in place to ensure that all environmental services are paid for.

He announced that the Achimota Eco Park Project, which is estimated at a cost of $32 million, is nearing commencement as a development partner has been selected.

“It will take five years to complete, and when completed, it will comprise a spiritual enclave, an amphitheatre, a cultural village, a safari drive, an arboretum, amusement parks, eco-lodges, among others.”

The chairman of Board of Commissioners of the Forestry Commission, Mr Edward Alloysius Prah, in his brief remarks, stated that forests play a key role in adapting and mitigating climate change. Forests also contribute to the oxygen-carbon balance in the air and protect sources of fresh water.

He revealed that Ghana is known to have lost over 80% of its forests since the beginning of the 1900s, and contributors to this loss include farming, legal and illegal timber harvesting, urbanisation, legal mining and, in recent times, illegal mining.

The ‘One Man, One tree’ campaign forms part of the fourth Forestry Week and Greening Ghana Day week-long celebration, with the theme ‘Healthy Forests Mitigate Climate Change.’

The celebration is to commemorate the International Day of Forests, which falls on March 21 each year. The International Day of Forests is a day set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests.

However, the UN allows member states to adapt the celebration of the International Day of Forests and the date to suit their peculiar circumstances.

The Forestry Commission of Ghana chose the month of May for the celebration of the day because of the favourable climatic conditions during that time of the year for planting and other silvicultural operations.

Celebrities Kalsum Sinare, Ekow Smith Asante, Mercy Asiedu, Okyeame Kwame and Irene Opare endorsed the campaign and urged their colleagues to follow suit.
Source: The Finder

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