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General News of Monday, 18 May 2015

Source: GNA

Ghana to celebrate Forestry Week and Greening Day

The Forestry Commission, in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, would celebrate the Fourth Forestry Week and Greening Ghana Day from May 23-29, 2015.

The theme for the week-long celebration is: “Healthy Forests Mitigate Climate Change”.

A statement signed by Joyce Ofori Kwafo, Corporate Affairs & Media Relations Manager, said the celebration was to commemorate the International Day of Forests which fell on March 21 each year.

It is a 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.

As part of sensitisation and behavioural change programmes for the youth of Ghana, the Forestry Commission would organise an inter-school quiz contest on climate change and its mitigation and adaptation measures, of which forests play a major role.

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

Competing schools are Achimota Senior High School (SHS), Amasaman Technical High School, Ghanatta SHS and Presbyterian Boys SHS. There would be mouth-watering prizes for all contesting schools, with the winner taking home a desk-top computer with accessories

The Forestry Commission would also launch the “One Man, One Tree “campaign. This would bring together people from all walks of life to plant trees in the Achimota Forest, which has been degraded by human activities. The philosophy behind this campaign is to get all Ghanaians to plant and nurture at least one tree every year.

There would also be 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.

Speakers include Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, the Chief Executive of Forestry Commission; Professor Chris Gordon, the Chairman of the National Climate Change Committee and Lecturer at the University of Ghana; and Mr Isaac Gyamfi, the Managing Director of SOLIDARIDAD.

Topics to be discussed include the Contribution of the Forestry Commission in National Development; Understanding Climate Change; and Forests Investment Opportunities- Economics of Climate Change.

A workshop on Legal Education on Forests and Wildlife would be held on Thursday and would bring together members of the legal fraternity and security services to refresh their minds on forest and wildlife laws.

The event is to remind the participants of the roles they play at their various points of operation which is of immense importance to the attempts at dissuading and preventing recalcitrant people from undertaking illegal activities in the forests.

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. There would be a ceremonial tree planting exercise to commemorate the day.