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Regional News of Thursday, 26 February 2015

Source: The Chronicle

NGO to partner gov’t recover depleted forest

Vision 2050 Forestry Ghana, a non-Governmental Organization (NGO) aims at recovering 50% of the degraded forest reserves of Ghana by 2050 has challenged the government, political parties, financial institutions and multinational corporations to pool both human and material resources to help regain the depleted forests, which situation is posing a threat to life.

Shelley Snell, Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of Vision 2050, who made the passionate appeal stated that the NGO has the mindset and personnel psyched for the confrontation with global warming adding that Vision 2050 Forestry Ghana Limited has put up Tree Investment Policy (TIP) to covert 0.0013% of its biological assets into cash in Akim Oda, Akropong, Kwamang, Wasa Akropong, Nkoranza and Akorabo as part of the company’s efforts to raise funds to support it activities.

According to her, TIP had coveted 200,000 trees into cash to enable Vision 2050 provide financial assistance to its network farmers, cultivate one billion trees in five years, in line with its vision to recover 50% of the degraded forest of Ghana by 2050, and thereby contribute effectively towards combating adverse global climate change.

She said part of the money will be used to process lumber for domestic and international consumption as well as provide sustainable charcoal (briquettes) for domestic consumption.

The CEO indicated that as an investment plan, TIP will allow 50 women, 20 men and five corporate bodies the opportunity to contribute $50 (cedi equivalent) per tree and earn $500 (cedi equivalent) in the fifth year through the tree lease and buy back agreement adding the minimum investment is 100 trees.

CEO Snell underscored that the rational for TIP is to help Vision 2050 achieve its vision by planting one billion trees over a five year period, to provide jobs for the rural folks to contribute significantly towards the World Bank’s as well as Government of Ghana’s quest to eradicate extreme poverty, and also help to curb rural-urban migration by generating the needed funds to help the firm pay network farmers, employees and other expenses.

Madam Snell, also revealed that the current average market value for each tree (standing tree) is GHc100.00, which is 150 million trees by the market value at GHc15,000,000,000 saying when processed, the value of each tree increases by more than 800%.

She disclosed that Global warming is a reality and will not only remove our forest cover, dry our water bodies and farmlands but also will bring about untold famine and hunger that will annihilate our lives and those of the generations and animals, and urged every stakeholder to support recovery of the depleted forests financially and psychologically.

Dr. Frank Frimpong, former CEO of the organization, also stated that with the hindsight of various other researches, the IPCC cited uncontrolled human activities as being likely to raise the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere within the range of 540-970 part per million by 2021. This, he said, implies that between 1990 and 2050, the global mean temperature would increase from 0.8 to 2.6 degree Celsius, and by 2021 from 1.4 to 5.8 degree Celsius.

He noted that the panel predicted fluctuation in the level of precipitation during the 21st century in the range of 5%-20% as a result of human activities. He observed that the concentration of carbon dioxide could enhance the natural greenhouse effect and further warm the global surface, which could culminate in disastrous consequences.

Dr. Frimpong disclosed that gloomy as the prospect looks, the beast known as global warming can be tamed, if not out rightly stopped.

He noted that is Vision 2050 Forestry Ghana Limited whose avowed goal is the restoration of our forest cover and our only immunity to global warming is one institution determined to harness natural and technical resources, as well as international collaboration to stem this seeming unstoppable stride.