Youth Icons Ghana – a youth-driven organisation aimed at protecting the environment – has launched its flagship project, ‘The Green Republic’, with the goal of planting 20 million trees in the next 10 years.
The project will commence on July 1 this year according to the Founding President of Youth Icons Ghana, Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, and it is aimed at restoring the country’s depleted forests and protecting the environment to promote sustainable development.
“The Green Republic Project is a youth-driven grassroots effort by Youth Icons Ghana geared toward making Ghana Green Again through the planting of 20 million trees in the next 10 years, as a sure way of helping to safeguard a healthy future environment.
“As leaders of tomorrow, the youth of Ghana have a sacred responsibility to play active roles in finding lasting solutions to challenges of the present which have the potential to negatively impact the future. Among such challenges remain deforestation and the effects of climate change and global warming,” he said at the project’s launch in Tamale on Wednesday.
Reports say that the country has lost about 60 percent of its forest cover from 1950 to date, representing some 2.7 million hectares – a situation that Mr. Osei-Darkwa said must worry the youth because of repercussions it will have on the future.
“If we believe that trees remain the lungs of the earth and attest to the fact that trees give us a lifeline, then we must be very worried about the deforestation menace. As young people who will have to endure the repercussions of a deforested nation, some of which are climate change and global warming, we have decided to purchase the future with the present by acting decisively today through tree-planting,” he said.
Also commenting on the project, CEO of Humano Energy Dr. Richard Atuahene called on the business community to pay particular attention to issues bordering on climate change by supporting initiatives such as The Green Republic.
He further encouraged businesses to adopt the use of renewable energy sources to help curb greenhouse effects.
Bernard Tabil, Northern Regional Manager of Forestry Commission – speaking on behalf of CEO of the Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie – lauded The Green Republic project, saying it falls in line with the goals of his outfit.
“I am excited to observe that The Green Republic project theme falls in line with the Forestry Commission’s vision of leaving future generations with a richer, better and more valuable forestry and wildlife endowment than we inherited.
“It is interesting to note that, as a matter of urgency, my outfit together with some international organisations have come up with various initiatives and projects to help reverse the negative trend of tree-depletion and environmental degradation,” he said.
He added that the Forestry Commission will provide necessary support in the form of planting materials and technical support to make The Green Republic project a reality.
The Paramount Chief of Tamale, Dakpama Alhassan Dawuni, also expressed interest in the project and said he will mobilise the youth in his community to engage in the project, as it will have long-term benefits for the entire community.