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Ghana to mark 6th Forestry Week, Greening Day


Accra, June 6, GNA - The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in collaboration with the Forestry Commission and other stakeholders will celebrate the 6th Forestry Week and Greening Ghana Day 2017 from June 13 to 14.

This year's programme will be dedicated to tree planting and promoting awareness on the importance of forests and trees in our lives.

The theme for the celebration is: 'Forests and Energy: Implications for Ghana.'

A statement signed by the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission said the celebration was to commemorate the International Day of Forests, which falls on March 21 each year.

It is a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside the forest.

The UN, however, allows member states to adapt the date of the celebration of the International Day of Forests to suit their peculiar circumstances.

'In view of this, Ghana has chosen the month of June this year for the celebration of the Day to coincide with the major rainy and planting season to ensure greater survival of the planted seedlings,' the statement said.

The statement said in spite of the many benefits derived from the forest and wildlife, resources continued to face serious threats of degradation due to factors such as illegal logging, illegal mining (galamsey), unsustainable farming practices, poaching and charcoal burning, among others.

It is on record that about 70 percent of Ghanaians depend on wood fuel for their household energy needs and as a major source of livelihood. The annual consumption of wood fuel is estimated at 16 million m3. Wood fuel is a very important energy source for households and its use is dominant in rural households who depend on it for cooking and for small-scale processing activities.

The results of these are severe climate change impacts that have resulted in the drying up of many water bodies; depletion of prime timber species like 'odum', 'mahogany', 'asanfina', 'sapele'; destruction of wildlife habitats; loss of soil fertility and low agricultural productivity, among others, it said.

Some of the major interventions being pursued to address these challenges include; policy and legislative reforms, law enforcement, promotion of woodlots establishment and restoration of degraded landscapes.

Others are the implementation of the National Forest Plantations Development Programme and the Forest Investment Programme (FIP); Sustainable Land and Water Management Project; Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+); and the proposed Multi-Lateral Mining Integrated Project targeted at illegal mining activities across the country.

The choice of the theme for the celebration was therefore, to provide the opportunity to educate the general public on the tremendous potential of forests as renewable energy sources.

Activities earmarked for the celebration are launch and Grand Durbar of 6th Forestry Week and Greening Ghana Day Celebration 2017, on 13th June, 2017 at the Gbi-Bla Roman Catholic School Park, Hohoe and Tree Planting Exercise along the Banks of River Dayi, Hohoe, on 14th June, 2017, at 7.30am.