The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has launched an initiative to improve the greenery of the country.
Known as the Green Street Project (GSP), the initiative seeks to plant trees in the median and avenues of roads in major cities in the 16 regional capitals.
The ultimate objective of the project is to improve the aesthetic beauty of cities and also help address the climate change menace.
It will be spearheaded by the Department of Parks and Gardens, in collaboration with the ministries of Lands and Natural Resources, Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralisation and Roads and Highways.
To facilitate the implementation of the initiative, a nine-member national planning committee has been inaugurated to work on the modalities.
The committee is co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, and the Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Decentralisation, Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah.
Other members of the committee are also drawn from the two ministries and the Roads and Highways Ministry.
Also represented on the committee are state agencies, such as the Forestry Commission, the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA), the Department of Parks and Gardens, the Department of Urban Roads and two private sector entities – Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Mullen Lowe.
The committee is required to identify principal streets and avenues in the cities where resilient and fast-growing tree species will be planted, as well as develop a detailed strategy, work plan and budget for the project.
It will also explore sustainable sources of funding for the initiative.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, who launched the project and also inaugurated the committee in Accra last Tuesday, underscored the need for the committee to oversee the planting of appropriate tree species that were capable of providing both aesthetic value and environmentally related benefits for a healthy and sustainable world.
“This project must help beautify our cities, provide a green environment and help fight climate change,” he said.
The minister added that the project would contribute to a cleaner and beautiful environment to help achieve sustainable development goal (SDG) 11 — building sustainable cities and communities — and goal 13 — combating climate change.
According to Mr Jinapor, the first phase would focus on the principal streets and avenues in four major cities – Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi – and would gradually be extended to the other regional capitals.
A co-Chairman, Mr Owusu-Bio, assured the minister that the committee would work diligently to deliver on its mandate by drawing on the experiences gained from the Green Ghana project.
For his part, Mr Korsah said the committee would leverage the partnership between the Lands Ministry and the other stakeholders to ensure the exercise succeeded.