To support the government’s Green Ghana project, the Pentecostal Church of Akyeremade District in Asante Mampong has launched a grassroots tree planting campaign.
President Akufo-Addo’s plan to plant some twenty million trees this year as part of the government’s ambitious afforestation and reforestation initiative has received the full support of the church’s pastor, Stephen Obeng Asare.
Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, inaugurated the Green Ghana project in March last year.
Ghana is one of the tropical countries with the highest proportion of rainforest loss in the world. This is according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
According to Global Forest Watch, Ghana lost 112 hectares of primary rainforest between 2002 and 2021, representing 8.2% of the country’s total tree cover loss over the same period. Meanwhile, the total area of primary rainforest in Ghana has shrunk by 10%.
But according to government figures, Ghana’s current forest cover is 1.6 million hectares (about 4 million acres), up from 8.2 million hectares (20 million acres) in 1900.
The church supports the president’s massive tree-planting initiative to combat the disastrous effects of deforestation.
The Church of Pentencost Ghana has decided to plant one million trees to support the government program.
Asante Mampong Region Chief Pastor Samuel Kwabena Asare also said the church should not only focus on spiritual issues but should implement a holistic strategy that includes mobilizing communities to resolve the common problems that affect them.
He believed that in addition to evangelism, the church had a responsibility to play in protecting the country’s environment.
The church, as a social organization, and its adherents, as individuals and members of society, have a social and moral responsibility to participate actively in the conservation of the environment.
Nana Agyenim Boateng, Mampong Tumsuomhene also urged Ghanaians to stop using charcoal and protect the environment.
To reinforce his argument that humans and trees are interdependent, he used the traditional adage that when the last tree dies, so does the last man.
“Everyone should be concerned about planting trees. Stop destroying trees and start using gas instead,” he said.
He also urged church members to take care of the trees so that the reforestation campaign is successful and serves a larger purpose.
The Forestry Commission has made provision for various tree species to be planted by church members.
Residents were also encouraged to plant trees in their neighborhoods.