Green Ghana Day June 9 – Commission pledges to protect forest resources

Friday, June 9, has been set aside for Green Ghana Day 2023.

The day has been set aside for the planting of various tree types and species, ranging from ornamental to cash crops, shrubs and fruits.

The 2023 planting, which is the third consecutive edition of the national climate change reversal exercise, is targeted at planting 10 million trees across the country.

Announcing the day at a press briefing yesterday, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), Samuel Abu Jinapor, indicated that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, would launch the Green Ghana Day next month at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.

This year’s event would be held on the theme: “Our Forests, Our Health”.


The Green Ghana Day was instituted in 2021 by government, under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, as part of an aggressive afforestation and reforestation programme to restore the country’s lost forest cover.

At the maiden edition, over seven million trees were planted, exceeding the target of five million trees.

Last year, over 24 million trees were planted, exceeding the 20 million trees target.

The downward revision to 10 million trees in this year’s exercise, the ministry explains, is meant to devote adequate resources and attention to the nurturing of over 23 million trees to increase their survival rate.

Maiden edition

“On the maiden edition, we targeted five million trees. With your support, over seven million trees were planted.

Last year, we raised our ambition and targeted at least 20 million trees.

Again, you supported us, and over 24 million trees were planted; bringing the total planted trees over the years to excess of 31 million trees,” Mr Jinapor said.

So far, he added, field assessment report showed that, on the average, there was 72 per

cent survival rate last year as compared to 81 per cent rate in 2021, the inception year.


Mr Jinapor said while adequate measures had been put in place to ensure the survival of all trees planted, a number of external factors accounted for the survival rate.

They included rainfall patterns, wildfires and soil fertility, he explained.

Nonetheless, the minister said, the survival rate showed that there was still some 23 million trees to nurture, adding that “it is for this reason that this year, we have revised our target downwards to 10 million trees”.

That, Mr Jinapor said, would provide the space to devote some resources and attention to the trees planted over the last two years, while not losing momentum on the quest to restore the degraded landscape.

“It is the expectation of the government that this year, we will receive the usual massive support to build upon the successes achieved in 2021 and 2022,” he said.

He noted that this year’s theme, “Our Forests, Our Health,” was to signify the importance of forests to lives, and to remind residents of the many health and related benefits derived from forests.


“We are urging you, our friends from the media, to carry the message across, and mobilise our country in support of this noble project.”

“Let me use this opportunity to appeal to all Ghanaians and residents of Ghana, our revered chiefs and queenmothers, religious and faith-based organisations, ministers, parliamentarians, judges, public servants, civil servants, doctors, teachers, lawyers, nurses, private sector organisations, civil society organisations, students, members of the diplomatic corps, development partners, and all persons living in Ghana, to support the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to make this year’s Green Ghana Day a success,” Mr Jinapor said.

He announced that as was the case last year, there was the opportunity for corporate institutions and the private sector to adopt compartments in forest reserves to plant trees, saying those compartments would be branded with the company’s name and logo.

Seedling distribution

Mr Jinapor said seedlings would be made available at the ministry, the district offices of the Forestry Commission, and at designated locations for collection on the Green Ghana Day.

He said a detailed schedule of the seedling distribution and pick-up points would be published in due course.

The minister reiterated the crucial role trees played in the survival of lives and the planet, stressing that “when the last tree dies, the last man dies” adage still held true today.

“Let us, therefore, all join hands together, and green Ghana on Friday, June 9, 2023, the Green Ghana Day,” Mr Jinapor said.

Protecting forest reserves

Also at the briefing, Mr Jinapor  stressed that the Forestry Commission under the ministry, would continue to roll out measures to make sure that the country’s forest reserves were condoned off from attacks and unwanted destruction from, particularly, illegal mining.

Already, the Forest Commission, he indicated, had been undertaking regular patrolling of the forest reserves, protecting and maintaining the internal and external boundaries, as well as creating awareness and stakeholder sensitisation.

Also, the Forestry Commission, to serve as a deterrent, has been decommissioning and demobilising equipment used for illegal mining activities in the forest reserves.

The sector Minister, Samuel Jinapor, who said this, emphasised that government would do all it could to ensure that the forest reserves were protected, in the fight against illegal mining.

“In fact, as recently as two to three weeks ago, we had a retreat and the Forestry Commission briefed the Cabinet on the measures that are being taken to protect the forest reserves of our country and we are going to continue.

“We are going to continue to roll out these measures to make sure that these forest reserves are condoned off from attack or from the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

So that is the first effort we are making,” he said.

Two-prong approach

Mr Jinapor who gave the assurance in response to a question during the press briefing, indicated that the ministry had rolled out a two-prong approach to restore the degraded landscape of the country and in restoring the forest cover in the country.

First, he said, was to protect the forest reserves of the country and second was to engage in the aggressive afforestation and reforestation initiative.

He said the protection would mean making sure that the various forest reserves in the country were safeguarded, protected from attack on deforestation, agriculture expansion, cocoa expansion, illegal mining and all the practices which resulted in forest degradation and deforestation.

“The Forestry Commission is to put in place adequate measures, a plethora of measures to ensure that we protect the forest reserves of our country,” he said.

Mr Jinapor said the second measure was the effort of aggressive forestation and reafforestation and that the Green Ghana Day was a component of that effort, the effort of ensuring that “we plant enough trees because we have lost significant proportion of our forest estate as a country.

“Since 1910 up to date, we have lost almost 80 per cent of our forest cover. so while we are protecting the existing forest cover, we also need to put in place measures to ensure that we engage in aggressive afforestation and reforestation. That is why this year, we intend to plant 10 million,” he added.