Former chief executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Madam Joyce Aryee, has disclosed that tree planting should be a collective responsibility and not solely a government initiative.
According to her, the tree planting exercise shouldn’t end with the nationwide project but rather a lifestyle. Her comments follow the ongoing ‘Green Ghana Project’ which seeks to plant five million trees across the sixteen regions.
She further urged the diplomatic corps present to assign people from their embassies to coordinate with the forestry commission
“What we are doing here today is not just a government initiative. It is an individual responsibility… Government is only helping us to play our part. The excitement of planting today should not end today; everyone who plants today must be interested in how the tree is doing.
“That is why we need a coordination. So, we are going to request them to assign somebody from the embassy who will work directly with forestry commission and be part of the monitoring and evaluation.
“We are going to ask them to bring their flags; so we can put the flags near the trees that they have planted to identify each country and we will be able to support what is happening. We need a nurturing environment, a sustainability program, I know the EU has support for that and we are going to take advantage of that support. Because if we plant and we don’t sustain the trees, we would have wasted our time”.Joyce Aryee
Destruction of land due to illegal mining
Madam Joyce Aryee further revealed that vegetative depletion is a national issue which “we must all solve”. She believes that there’s nothing to “bequeath” posterity if the lands are destroyed.
Madam Aryee further noted that mining activities must be properly regulated to help the development of the country.
“This issue of we are hungry and therefore we will steal land and destroy it, is totally unacceptable. So, this issue about threat is a question for all of us; what will you do to make sure what is happening actually brings good results? If you hear that somebody has been arrested, don’t take the person’s side… This is a battle that we must all be involved in because we know victory is sure when we are all involved. If we do that, then what we are doing today will work.
“Also, charcoal growers, there are fast-growing trees and shrubs that forestry has available for those who are interested in the charcoal industry. So, they should come for those trees, plant them as plantations and use that as their job. So, you plant your own plantation, you harvest it for your charcoal. Don’t go and cut trees that are not meant for that purpose”.
Depoliticize illegal mining
Madam Aryee further called for the depoliticization of the depleting vegetative lands in the country. According to her, successive governments are not wholly responsible for illegal mining, as individual players form the government.
She further underscored the need for the public not to rope in authorities to absolve persons found culpable of illegal mining.
“Today, the chief justice is saying that they are going to make sure that they give the right justice, because they are calling it an attack on the state’s resources. The law must take its course and that is why if we are personally interested in leaving a land that can support life for today’s generation.
“There should be resources for our youth today, and they must be available for ensuing for generations. That’s what sustainability is about. Let’s enjoy what we have today and let’s make sure that the same enjoyment is passed to the next generation”.