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23.01.2010 General News

GHANA: National Tree Planting Day proposed….

By Fidel Tetteh
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In the news yesterday, President John Mills made mention of an intended holiday that is yet to be proposed to parliament for endorsement. This holiday is an initiative to support afforestation in Ghana. According to him, it has been estimated that about 65hectors of the nation's forest lay-out is cleared every month by actions of lumber men, a disheartening situation indeed. The president said he will ensure that a National Tree Planting Day is observed by the Ghanaian populace. This is not the normal kind of holiday we know because this comes with work. A tree planting exercise will be embarked upon on this day in order to revamp the nation's forest landscape.

I believe the idea is profound and is worthwhile, but, come to think of it, why should people fell trees for export and other domestic usages without replacing them with new ones? Unequivocally, I support the idea behind the proposed national holiday but I am wondering if that will solve the problems lumbering impose upon the nation. Because, most of these lumber men are running an unauthorized projects that defies the rules governing parameters within which legal tree felling activities must take place. There should something in addition that ensures that people do not plant trees on this holiday only for them to be felled again without replacement. One of the challenges we face as a nation our inability to provide the necessary security measures that ensures that recalcitrant's whose activities plague the nation badly are brought to book.

An uncontrolled lumbering does not only endanger the nation with the repercussions of deforestation but global warming too. Trees absorb Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as part of the ingredients necessary for the preparation of its food. This divine environmental cycle puts to the ozone layer to check; ensuring that over emission of carbon dioxide gases into the atmosphere does not break it loose. Ghana already lies along the tropics and as the Ozone is further depleted by industrial activities, not just abroad but domestic, we are among African countries with the greatest effect of global warming, let's not even talks about clearing our vegetation cover.

The problem with many Africans is that, they tend to think of the comfort of today and overlook the pain of tomorrow. So long us ripping the nation of its forestry beauty and security will earn them some monies through the exportation of timber, they are just fine forgetting that when the last tree dies the last man will be no exception. They commit this wickedness to the environment and to their fellow countrymen, in the sense that they cut down tree but never grow up one.

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