TREE AID, an environmentally friendly civil society organisation working in the five regions in the north, is calling on the government to distribute more economic trees in the next phase of the Green Ghana project.
While commending the government for the initiative, the Project Officer at TREE AID, Mr. Eric Botir said communities are more likely to protect and nurture economic trees than those that will not give them economic returns.
The government of Ghana on Friday, June 11 mobilized Ghanaians to plant 5 million trees across the country.
The initiative dubbed the Green Ghana project is being implemented by the Forestry Commission under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
The government says it is aimed at recovering Ghana’s lost forest cover, and the 5 million trees is an initial figure under the project.
The Green Ghana project has been hailed by Ghanaians, especially environmentally friendly civil societies organisations such as TREE AID.
TREE AID, a non-governmental organisation formed in 1987 by a group of foresters, is working in the drylands of Africa supporting people to fight back poverty using the power of trees and protecting the environment.
In Ghana, TREE AID is working in the five regions of the North with the hope of expanding to cover Bono and Oti regions.
In August 2019, the organisation received funding from UKAID to implement the Ghana Rural Agricultural & Cashew Enterprise (GRACE) project in the West Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region targeting 3,600 farmers including women and the youth in 42 communities.
In 2020, the Grace project distributed 48,737 grafted cashew seedlings to farmers in the 42 communities and will be distributing an additional 90,000 in 2021.
Under the Green Ghana project, TREE AID requested and planted 7,330 mahogany seedlings in communities in 8 communities in the West Gonja municipality on Friday.
While commending the Green Ghana project, Eric Botir encouraged the government to distribute more economic trees such as cashew, dawadawa, mango and Shea subsequently.
According to him, communities will put more effort into caring for trees which would give them economic returns than others.
“While we commend the government for this initiative to plant trees around the country, we think that giving trees that are economically beneficial like cashew, mango, guava and shea will go a long way to green Ghana because more people will be interested in taking care of trees that will give them returns than other trees.”
Mr Botir also advised Ghanaians who venture into plantations not to cut down trees before planting.
He said such activities can be counterproductive.
“Most people who go into tree crop plantations use dozers to clear the whole land and transplant their tree i.e. mango, cashew or oil palm, when you do this and what you plant don’t survive its cos zero, so we advise people to leave some trees to provide shades on their plantations.”
Mr Botir also advised residents of northern Ghana not to continue to fell trees because the government is planting trees in the area, but rather protect what they have and nature the planted trees to maturity.