Deputy national director of A Rocha Ghana, Daryl Bosu, has criticized government’s Green Ghana project, aimed at restoring the country’s degraded lands, describing it as government’s way of greenwashing Ghanaians.
According to him, the project must not be taken out of context because the whole agenda of Green Ghana is to ensure that government restores the country’s degraded forests. He revealed that Ghana has in the last five to six years been in the bad news for being one of the countries losing its forests very quickly.
In light of this, he stated that government’s action was to try and bring in Green Ghana so we can restore all degraded areas and also revamp the forestry sector. However, he questioned the millions of trees planted and reports on its survival rate.
Mr Bosu stated that a careful look at the project reveals that although a certain percentage has survived what government must focus on is the number of forest reserves being destroyed.
“… They know that a lot is happening when you leave Accra in terms of destruction of our forest. You see new filling stations springing up and taking over wetlands… Ramsar sites are being taken over by real estate developers, forest reserves being taken over by miners, artisanal miners are also all over the place. For us, we are only convinced that it is the government’s way of green washing and distracting all of us from seeing the mess that is happening when you leave Accra…”Daryl Bosu
Destruction of forest reserves in the country
Among other things, Mr Bosu indicated that there are lots of destruction of the country’s forest reserves and existing forest reserves through prospecting licenses granted by government for companies to access to forest reserves. He stated that the areas doled out by government contain old grove forests, biodiversity and water resources which are beneficial to people being destroyed by some activities of mining.
“… Because of government’s institution agenda of accelerated extractive industry, you ask yourself whether Green Ghana and we planting trees is just not an issue of greenwashing… Because what we are seeing is that this programme was started the last three years, we need to ask ourselves, within the same period we claim we have planted trees, how much of our forests have also being been through other active policies of government?”Daryl Bosu
Elaborating on the survival rate of the tree planting exercise, Mr Bosu revealed that the generative rate of these seeds is great and government has been strategic in the sense that this exercise happened in the peak of the rainy season all across the country. He stated that despite the fact that there have been dry spells in the Northern part of the country, planting of trees will pick up in month of June.
Moreover, deputy national director of A Rocha Ghana stated that Green Ghana has been great but there is the need for government to institutionalize the programme in its existing institution. With this, he explained that institutions like the Forestry Commission has the capacity and resources, both men and women on the ground, working across the country to implement systems in place to carry out the project regularly.
“We don’t need a special day… We need to take it out of the government spending so much money, control it from the ministry and give it to technical institutions like the Forestry Commission, so they can lead the exercise completely…”Daryl Bosu
The Green Ghana project commences today, June 9, 2023, as government anticipates planting some 10 million seedlings.