Green Ghana Day: Parliament plants 1,200 tree seedlings

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin (middle) in a group photograph with MPs and some Parliamentary staff

Parliament has since 2022 to date planted a total of 1,200 tree seedlings with a 90 per cent survival rate in support of the Green Ghana project.

"In 2022, Parliament planted 400 trees, in 2023, we planted 300 trees and this year, we will be planting a set of 500 trees, bringing the total to 1,200."

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin stated this on Friday, when he led the House to undertake tree seedlings planting at the premises of Parliament House in Accra, as part of activities marking this year's Green Ghana Day on the theme "Greening Today for Greener Tomorrow."

The Speaker noted that he had been reliably informed that about 90 per cent of the trees planted so far had survived and were growing healthily.

The Green Ghana Day initiative was introduced by the government in 2021, focusing on aggressive afforestation and reforestation programmes to restore the country's degraded forest cover.

This year's event targets the planting of 10 million tree seedlings nationwide.

Mr Bagbin said the theme for this year's event resonates deeply, as Ghanaians strive to create a sustainable future for generations to come.

He noted that the world stands at a critical juncture, where human actions have significantly impacted the planet's ecological balance.

"Deforestation and land degradation have contributed to the devastation of nature, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and soil erosion," he said.

"I however stand before you today with optimism, renewed hope and determination for the future of the blue planet Earth."

He said the recognition of the existential threat of the earth was the beginning of the solution; adding that by the resolution to nurse and grow trees annually and to promote afforestation and biodiversity, the world had reversed the annihilation of nature by 50 per cent.

"As we annually plant and tender these trees we effectively counter and reverse the downward trends and begin to cultivate a greener and more sustainable tomorrow. Trees are the lungs of the earth, providing oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, and supporting countless species."

He said trees shield nature from harsh weather conditions, prevent soil erosion, and supply humankind with life-giving water.

"As we plant these saplings, we invest in a future where our children can thrive in harmony with nature. We envision a world where forests flourish, wildlife prospers, and our planet heals," he said.

"The forest is not just a resource; it is a relation. This is the proverb that highlights the interconnectedness of all living things and encourages us to view the natural world as a web of relationships rather than just a collection of resources to be exploited. It is also stated that the earth is not a gift from our parents, but a loan from our children."

He called on Ghanaians to continue to join hands in this noble endeavor, having recognized the power of collective action; saying "Together, we can restore and rejuvenate degraded lands, we can revive and support biodiversity, we can mitigate climate change, and we can ensure a sustainable future".

He said it was therefore not for nothing that Parliament devotes the day for the tree seedlings planting exercise without plenary sitting.

"Our very existence depends on the health and well-being of the earth, the earth is our mother and we must take care of her," Mr Bagbin said.

"We owe a heavy responsibility to the earth and to future generations. Let us nurture these seeds of hope, and together, let us grow a better world for all."

The Speaker said under his leadership, the House would procure a pickup vehicle and two motorbikes to support the Forestry Commission to facilitate their activities at the premises of Parliament House; saying "to make sure that at the end of the day we have here the Garden of Eden".

The Clerk to Parliament, Cyril K. O. Nsiah lauded the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, for conceptualising this great initiative, which from all indications was backed by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The Deputy Greater Accra Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, George Agbenowoshi, encouraged Ghanaians to green and protect their environment.

In attendance at the event were the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament; Joseph Osei-Owusu, Deputy Majority Leader, Patricia Appiagyei, and Madam Comfort Cudjoe Doyoe Cudjoe, Second Deputy Minority Whip.

As part of the celebration MPs, Parliamentary Staff and the Staff of the Forestry Commission wore green T-shirts with the hashtag #Let'sGoPlanting: 10million Tree Seedlings.

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