The Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor (Mrs.) Rita Akosua Dickson has led staff and students of KNUST to plant two thousand (2,000) trees on Friday, 11th June 2021, around the Prince of Wales Park and other locations on campus. The exercise dubbed 'One student, one tree' was to commemorate the Green Ghana Day initiative as championed by the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Professor Dickson explained that as part of an effort to encourage Ghanaians to plant more trees to preserve and protect Ghana's forest cover and the environment, students and staff of KNUST are encouraged to make planting of trees part of their way of life.
She noted that the vision of Ghana’s National Climate Policy is a collective responsibility, and therefore, urged students and staff of KNUST and the general public to become environmental warriors and take up issues relating to climate and sustainability of the environment seriously to have a healthy land.
Professor Dickson further stressed on the need for all stakeholders to collectively support the Green Ghana project so that planting of trees becomes a regular feature.
The Member of Parliament for Oforikrom Constituency and Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology, Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, also joined the Management of KNUST in the tree planting exercise. He indicated that the Green Ghana Project, if sustained, would help Ghana recover majority of the country’s lost forest cover. Dr. Marfo noted that Ghana’s forest reserves are at risk and as such, there is the need to sustain the tree planting exercise.
“As we know, the forest reserves of the country are under threat. Ghana is losing her forest at a rate of 2% per annum and so the projection is that if we continue to lose our forest at this rate, by the year 2040, Ghana will be a net importer of timber. Apart from the timber resources that will be scarce, our forestry landscape will also be degraded such that we will lose the natural serenity” he said.
The President of the Environmental Leadership Forum, Edwin Bamfo urged other students and the youth to be part of the exercise. He said: “We cannot have oxygen without trees and as a student group, we decided to join the initiative. Today, we are donating one hundred tree species to the KNUST project, and we are going to plant these trees at the Faculty of Allied Health. We would like to encourage all students on campus and everywhere that tree planting and tree growing is a necessary exercise that should be embraced by all”.
The University Relations Officer of KNUST, Dr. Daniel Norris Bekoe thanked all participants for supporting a noble course. He noted that the tree planting exercise will continue throughout the year because KNUST attaches so much importance to the environment. He said the continuous planting and nurturing of trees will be championed by various students’ groups and Colleges to ensure that the University Community remains attractive and conducive for teaching and learning.
The exercise was supported by the President of Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies, Nana Dwomoh Sarpong and the office of the Member of Parliament for Oforikrom and Forestry commission. Others who supported the tree planting exercise included the Estate Department of KNUST, the Department of Wood Processing and Marketing under the College of Agric and Natural Resources, Forestry Students Association, Head of State Awards Secretariat and the Environmental Leadership Forum.
The Pro Vice Chancellor, the Registrar, Provosts of the various Colleges, UTAG leadership, GAUA, the University Chaplaincy, the leadership of the Students Representative Council, Graduate Students Association, as well as other student environmental groups, took turns to plant their trees.