Abu Jinapor, Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, has promised to plant as many as 100 million trees annually.
Should he be able to do so, it will form part of his approach and strategy to increase the country’s forest cover which has been affected by a number of illegal activities in the country over the past years.
The nominee stressed the need for the country to roll out an aggressive afforestation scheme to recover the country’s depleted forest reserve.
He pledged to use the World Environment Day (WED) which is celebrated on June 5 every year to commence the initiative in line with the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
“I am looking forward to having the opportunity and if I get the opportunity, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources should be able to come out with a programme where once in a year and preferably on June 5th which is World Environment Day, the President of our republic [Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo] will lead a tree planting exercise, the president will plant a tree.
“Hopefully, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, will plant a tree, hopefully, His Majesty Ya Na Abukari II, the Overlord of Dagbon will plant a tree and Mr Chairman himself will also plant a tree in Parliament and about, say, 5 million of Ghanaians will plant a tree,” Mr Jinapor said during the vetting.
When asked by Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu about how many trees he intends to plant in a day, Abu Jinapor said “I think we should be able to plant 100 million a year, but let me put a caveat which is that, these are my ideas, this is my reflection [and] they are subject to cabinet approval and in some cases, they will be subject to parliamentary approval so I may think it is a brilliant idea I may go to the cabinet and it may be shot down so the back will not stop with me but I think it’s a noble idea, I think it will help”.
He added that the aggressive afforestation scheme under his watch will see the plantation of economic trees such as shea trees, rosewood, timber, wawa trees among others.
The inspiration, according to the minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resource, was drawn from an initiative by the Ethiopian President’s vision to plant millions of trees across Africa’s second most populous nation due to the negative impact of climate change especially in relation to droughts in parts of the country.