Ministry to spend GH¢ 200,000 on tree planting nation-wide

The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology has earmarked GH¢ 200,000 out of its 2010 budgetary allocation to procure seedlings for a massive tree planting exercise nation-wide next year. The measure is to produce enough oxygen to absorb the increasing carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere which threatens the sustainability of the natural environment. Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology disclosed this on Tuesday during the launch of the Net Impact Campus Greening Initiative by Net Impact Ghana, an organization made up of Master of Business Administration Students of the University of Ghana Business School in Accra. The initiative formed part of the United Nations/Net Impact Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) adopted in 2007 to make businesses responsible to ensure sustainability of the environment. Under PRME, business schools at universities on the globe are to spearhead its implementation by dialoguing with companies and organizations to assess their corporate social responsibility programmes and how they contribute to the sustainability of the business as well as the environment. Dr Boamah said the measure would, in addition, contribute to lessening the impact of climate change which had serious implications for the country’s socio-economic development. He said human activities such as tree felling and release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and their impact on the natural environment had reached a level that if not checked, could render the environment unsustainable. Dr Boamah said government was not oblivious of the importance of the natural environment and its impact on economic productivity and would endeavour to protect and make it sustainable. He called on the industrialized nations to commit to reducing specific amounts of carbon dioxide that they emitted into the environment to make the crusade against climate change a reality. Dr Boamah called on the Net Impact Ghana to engage government and other organizations to work out a strategy that would ensure the sustainability of the environment. Dr Joseph Samuel Annan, a Deputy Minister in-charge of Tertiary Education, observed that the volatility of the business environment made it imperative for management institutions to produce leaders who would not only be interested in maximising investments but also be conscious of responsible corporate responsibility, which were values of the PRME, to sustain their catchments areas. He said adherence to the PRME would ensure that business was conducted in a manner that would be beneficial to all economies and societies thereby ensuring sustainable development. Dr Annan was hopeful that businesses would become more responsible in their social responsibility to the community because graduates who would become business leaders in future were championing the implementation of the initiative. However, he called for behavioural change to make the greening environment campaign a reality. Mr. Dela Gadzanku, President of Net Impact Ghana said the organization was collaborating with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to incorporate the greening initiative into the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) to ensure safe environmental practices among the youth. He urged other institutions especially business schools at the country’s universities to come on board to make the initiative a national one. The dignitaries planted trees to kick start the campaign.