Ghana planted more than 5 million trees in a single day on Friday Jun. 11 to fight deforestation, celebrating the country’s first “Green Ghana Day” — an annual day on which people plant trees.
Prior to the day, the government distributed more than 7 million seedlings to Ghanaian parks, schools and businesses and provided seeds to residents for free.
Ghana has one of the highest percentage of rainforest loss in the world for a tropical country, according to the United Nations.
The country’s Land And Natural Resources Minister told AFP that the country’s forest cover is depleting as a result of illegal small-scale gold mining and harvesting of trees for different purposes.
“The aim of Green Ghana is to save us now and our future generations. We can’t fail our future leaders,” he added. “The exploitation of forest resources for national development has not been sustainable over the years,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a speech on Green Ghana Day.
“We don’t have tomorrow or the day after tomorrow to do this. We have to act now.” Afuko-Addo plans to make Green Ghana day an annual event, with the goal of planting 100 million trees in a day by 2024.
The country’s forest area has fallen from 9.7 million hectares (20 million acres) in 1995 to 1.6 million hectares (about 4 million acres), dwindling to less than a fifth in two decades, according to Forestry Commission figures.
From 2002 to 2020, Ghana lost 101 kha (about 250 kacre) of humid primary forest, making up 8.0% of its total tree cover loss in the same time period, according to Global Forest Watch.