Deputy Minister designate for Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker has said Ghana’s forest reserve currently stands at less than one million hectares.

He said Ghana had about 8 million hectares of forest reserve in the 1900s out of which only 1.6 was set aside as a reserve and gazetted.

Mr Mireku Duker said unfortunately the remaining 6.4 that was earmarked for developmental projects has been depleted. Thus, Ghanaians are now developing and degrading the 1.6 that was gazetted, something he described as unfortunate.

He noted that it is in this light that the government has initiated the tree planting exercise which was held across the country on Friday, June 11.

He added that it is President Akufo-Addo desire to see that the country has additional forest reserves, therefore every citizen must partake in the exercise.

Mr Mireku Duker said it is the mandate of the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to ensure that not less than five million trees are planted.

He commended the YaNa for the ‘Project Abukari Green Dagbon’ adding that the Ministry would support his effort to ensure it succeeds.

The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu, who urged the Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies not to just plant the trees but nurture them to growth, said the survival of the trees, will form part of his assessment of the performance of his MMDCEs.

He said the Northern Region has borne the worse brunt of deforestation and the time has come for the people to say no to the destruction of the forest and tree cover.

YaNa Abubakari said the Northern Region has had its share of the destruction of forest reserve for purposes of charcoal and logging among other activities.

He called for the use of cheaper alternative fuel sources such as gas, to help stop charcoal-burning. Alternatively, he suggested the planting of fast-growing species to replace those that have been cut.

YaNa Abubakari called on the Forestry Commission to collaborate with the various stakeholders to increase the country’s forestry cover.

The king of Dagbon urged that appropriate measures be put in place to stop the destruction caused to the country’s forest.

“You cannot succeed in filling a leaking pot with water without first sealing the leakage” he noted.