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Regional News of Sunday, 24 May 2015

Source: GNA

Forestry Commission starts celebration with inter-school's quiz

The Forestry Commission has kicked-off the celebration of the Fourth Forestry Week and Greening Day with an inter-school quiz competition aimed at testing the knowledge of the students on forestry issues.

Competing schools were Achimota Senior High School (SHS), Amasaman Technical High School, Ghanatta SHS and Presbyterian Boys SHS.

Dubbed: “Catch Them Young,” the quiz is a way of sensitising the youth, who are the future policy makers, on the need to act responsibly to protect the forests.

In an address before the competition started, Mr Andy Osei Okrah, Chairman of the Forestry Week Planning Committee, said the Commission is focusing on education, sensitisation and behavioural change programmes for the youth, to deepen knowledge on climate change and its mitigation and adaptation measures, of which forests play a major role.

He said the Commission was using several strategies, including debates, quizzes and formation of forestry clubs in various institutions to catch the attention of the youth and their attitude towards sustainable forests and wildlife management.

Mr Okrah challenged the educational institutions to go a step further with a curriculum on forest and wildlife management to inculcate the principles of sound forest management.

“I am convinced if we all start doing this as educational institutions, there would be a great positive attitudinal change among our citizenry towards sound forest management practices,” he said.

Mr Okrah urged the youth to use the social media to capture scenes of positive and negative forestry practices for dissemination, in a bid to shock the conscience of society on acts of impunity while advocating change.

Achimota School emerged the overall winner of the quiz and took home a desk-top computer with accessories. Ghanatta Senior High School came second whilst Presbyterian Boys and Amasaman Secondary Technical placed third and fourth respectively.

Each of the participants was presented with a certificate.

The week, being celebrated in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, would run from May 23-29, 2015. It is to commemorate the International Day of Forests, which falls on March 21 each year.

The theme for the week-long celebration is: “Healthy Forests Mitigate Climate Change” and highlights forest-based solutions to address climate change mitigation and adaptation, and broadly, forests and sustainable development.

The day set aside by the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests. The UN, however, allows member states to adapt the celebration of the International Day of Forests as well as the date, to suit their peculiar circumstances.

The Forestry Commission of Ghana chose the month of May for the celebration because of favourable climatic conditions during that time of the year for tree planting and other silvicultural operations.

Other activities lined up include the launch of the “One Man, One Tree “campaign, a national colloquium on Forests Investment Opportunities and Climate Change, bringing to the fore, the various opportunities that are inherent in the forest and wildlife sectors of the country and a workshop on Legal Education on Forests and Wildlife.

The celebration would be climaxed with a Grand Durbar and Greening Ghana Day to be attended by traditional authorities, security services, students, government representatives, local groups, opinion leaders, politicians, civil society organisations and the general public.