He said the agenda to restore the country's degraded landscape through an aggressive tree-planting campaign would be scuppered unless bold steps were taken to combat illegal mining and other human activities that are damaging the environment.
The Okyenhene said so as Forestry Commission (FC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Allotey led a delegation from the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources and the FC to his palace in Kyebi in the eastern region to ask for his support to promote the Green Ghana Day (GGD) exercise.
Also in the delegation was Forestry Technical Director at the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources, Joseph Osiakwan.
Osagyefuo Ofori Panin called for a comprehensive approach to crack down on Galamsey perpetrators in order to give real meaning to the Green Ghana initiative.
“We must act together to stop this Galamsey destroying the land we are trying to rebuild or the forest we are trying to restore, or we will do nothing. If I plant a tree now and in the next five years someone will come and cut it for Galamsey, my efforts will be useless," he added.
The Green Ghana Initiative is a government intervention policy aimed at planting trees to restore the country's degraded landscape and mitigate the global impacts of climate change.
After planting more than five million trees in the first exercise, the government has reserved June 10 this year for another 20 million trees in degraded forests and areas outside protected areas.
According to Okyenhene, posterity of the current generation would not be forgiven unless proper measures were taken to protect the environment from further destruction.
“It is selfish that we dig all the gold out of the ground and cut down all the trees for the benefit of the community, depriving future generations of natural resources and a healthy environment.
“I am pleased that the Government has recognized the need to reforest, restore and replenish degraded forests. That's good because it's our future, and if we plant 20 million trees, we're planting our future free of disease and climate change," he said.
He said that given the central role the chiefs played in mobilizing for development, it is important that they become part of the overall Green Ghana project process.
"When Nananom is asked to lead the mobilization for tree planting, we have to be part of the negotiations, agreements and the whole process so that the local people can take over the project," he added.
Mr. Allotey implored the Okyenhene to use their influence to mobilize the people of the area for the tree planting exercise.
"We know Osagyefuo is committed to forest conservation and responsible mining issues, so we want you to support the exercise successfully," he said, praising the Okyenhene for his role in the 2021 GGD exercise.
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