Former President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday planted a seedling of the tree of life at Peduase in the Eastern Region as part of a national tree planting exercise.The Government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, embarked on planting five million tree seedlings countrywide on June 11, as part of the Green Ghana Project, dubbed “Green Ghana: Let’s Go Planting Five Million Trees in One Day”.
The tree-planting programme is to spark the increase of forest cover and to help address the issue of climate change.
Former President Kufuor speaking to the media after the exercise, underscored the need for Ghanaians to ensure that ecosystem was kept in balance.
He said studies had shown that humans breathed in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide, whereas plants used the carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and give out oxygen; saying “When the last tree dies, the last man dies”.
The former President noted without oxygen mankind would not survive.
He said the planting of five million tree seedlings project embarked upon by the Government was part of efforts to address the issue of climate change and desertification.
He said the tree planting programme demonstrated the Government’s commitment to fulfill the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) Agreement, which was a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
The former President said the CO21 was designed to arrest and overcome climate change.
He said food security was also part of the trees planting programme, declaring that “even as we urbanise, we still need the ecosystem balance”.
Former President Kufuor cited increasing global temperatures, rising sea levels, droughts, desertification, erratic rainfalls and its accompanying floods in towns and cities as some of the effects of climate change.
He, therefore, appealed to all Ghanaians to take the issue of tree planting very seriously as part of efforts to arrest climate change.
Madam Roselyn Fosuah Adjei, Director, Climate Change at the Forestry Commission, said the time for tackling the issue of climate change was now.
She said that the Commission had put measures in place to ensure that the five million tree seedlings being planted survived.