Ghana: We Can't Live Without Trees

opinion

Ghana is said to have a total land area of 23.85 million hectares(ha)with major vegetation formations such as the closed forest, northern savannah, coastal savannah and the coastal strand and mangrove.

These are roughly divided into the High Forest zone in the south, accounting for a third of the land area and the Savannah Zone in the north, accounting for the remaining two-thirds.

The closed forest zone contains high value redwoods and other species of commercial importance while the savanna and the mangrove belts have related trees.

Trees are very important for human and animal survival. They are sources of food and medicine to both humans and animals, while they form the basis of habitats for animals like birds and squirrels.

Humans go further to use trees for shade wood products for building and as fuel in cooking. Wood is used for such other things as furniture and in constructing houses, bridges and parts of vehicles.

Trees are sources of oxygen for human survival while they rather absorb carbon dioxide and its otherwise harmful effects on man. Trees protect our sources of water from drying up from the effect of the sun.

In fact, the importance of trees clearly support the axiom that'when the last tree dies, the last man dies', yet human activities such as human settlements and their expansion due to rapid population growth; farming activities; road construction; development of industries and other economic concerns and even construction of recreational centres have resulted in the unbridled cutting oftrees.

This has resulted in deforestation, climate change and environmental degradation collectively threatening human and animal survival.

The forest area of Ghana was estimated at 9.17 million ha, covering about 40% of the total national land. In 1992, it had reduced to only about 1.5 million ha of "intact closed forest", according to sources like the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Today, there is the serious need to pay attention to trees, hence the move by the Green Ghana Project to plant trees across the country, beginning with the planting of 5 million on June 11, this year alone is something that must be applauded by all.

One activity that threatens the survival of trees involves both illegal and even legal small-scale mining.

At the moment we need to solve the problem of deforestation and related issues not only through tree planting but also others. This is why we commend the government for asking the Forestry Commission to suspend the issuance of Forest Entry Permits for mining purposes until otherwise determined.

The Ghanaian Times also want to suggest that it is about time we check land use for settlement. The government should play active role in the provision of housing and expansion of settlement by encouraging perpendicular development more than the lateral one. That means we should building of more storeys than the single ones all over the place.

More From: Ghanaian Times

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