His Royal Highness Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, on Monday, June 3, 2024, launched the 'One-Student-One-Tree' initiative, which is a key component of the government's flagship afforestation program, the Green Ghana Project under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

The 'One-Student-One-Tree' initiative which aims to complement the government's tree planting efforts set out to incorporate students of second Cycle institutions in the project, imbibe in Ghana's youth and children population the culture of planting trees and create awareness about the importance of protecting the environment.

The event, held at Abuakwa State College in Kyebi, Eastern Region, saw the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, join the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, who praised the long-term benefits of environmental initiatives like Green Ghana Day to plant a tree to signify their commitment and dedication to the project.

The Okyenhene urged the students to actively engage in the project, contributing to global efforts to build a sustainable and resilient climate that will shield humanity from harsh and unfavorable climatic conditions.

"I am proud to say that we have been instrumental in the success of Green Ghana Day since its inception in 2021. Our ancestors used their souls and spirits to protect the forests, and it is now our responsibility to do the same. They dedicated 100 days a year to forest conservation”, he said.

"Do not be reckless, irresponsible, or greedy, focusing only on immediate gains at the expense of your future survival. It is crucial to protect your future. Our elders taught us not to destroy assets because they retain their value. We have decimated our forests and water reserves, and we are now experiencing the impacts of climate change”, he added.

"To the students, you are undertaking this to safeguard your future, so participate fully. Guard your future and preserve it for the generations to come," he stated.

In his speech, Samuel A. Jinapor congratulated the Okyenhene for his visionary and exemplary leadership, which has spanned over 25 years.

Mr. Jinapor also commended the Okyenhene for his consistent advice and assistance to various government initiatives and policies, including the Green Ghana project.

"Let me begin by congratulating His Royal Highness, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, for twenty-five years of exceptional leadership and his relentless pursuit of excellence for his people and the nation as a whole.

"Today, we honor a leader whose steadfast dedication, vision, service, and commitment have significantly shaped the Abuakwa Traditional Area, as well as the nation and humanity," he said.

Providing historical context to the conversation about the urgency of the Green Ghana Project, Mr Jinapor reminded the audience of Ghana's precarious situation regarding forest reserve protection and the progress made with the planting of over 42 million trees since 2021.

The Minister detailed the One-Student-One-Tree initiative's goal to raise awareness about the Green Ghana project and instill a sense of environmental protection in schoolchildren.

"As we join our students to mark the 2024 edition of this remarkable initiative, it is essential to highlight the role of trees in mitigating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and supporting human well-being. Trees act as the lungs of our planet, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They provide habitats for countless species, prevent soil erosion, and contribute to the water cycle. Planting trees is an investment in the natural infrastructure that sustains life on Earth.

"Nananom, esteemed teachers, students, ladies, and gentlemen, it is noteworthy that the 'One Student One Tree' initiative goes beyond planting; it fosters a sense of environmental stewardship in our students.

"It represents our collective duty to protect and ensure a sustainable future. By participating in this program, we aim to instill in our students the significance of caring for the environment, which underpins our economy, society, and existence. Our students must develop a connection to nature, broaden their ecological understanding, and strengthen their responsibility to the world they will inherit.

"As we embark on this journey, let us remember that planting a tree is an act of hope, a declaration of our faith in the future, and our commitment to a bright and sustainable tomorrow. Let us encourage each student to take pride in their tree, to nurture its growth, and to recognize that their actions today will shape the world of tomorrow."

The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong, in his statement indicated that the one student one tree initiative, he believes, will gather students to honor the environment to build their future and health.

He pledged his absolute support to ensure that the initiative will be sustained to be become a history for posterity and hoped that the Green Ghana project will fulfil its purpose in growing a greener tomorrow.

The Headmaster of the school, Mr. Eric Hanson Agyei Sarpong in his closing remarks appreciated government and the Ministry for their dedication to the tree planting vision come to fusion. He encouraged the students to nurture the trees planted to growth .

The "One Student, One Tree" initiative has been hailed as a significant step towards environmental transformation, and its impact is expected to be felt for generations to come.

This year's Green Ghana Day, scheduled for June 7, aims to plant 10 million seedlings across the country, with the theme "Growing for a Greener Tomorrow." President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will lead a commemorative tree planting exercise at the Nicholson stadium in Burma Camp, Accra.

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