World’s tropical domain reeling from over-exploitation – Akufo-Addo laments

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appealed to global leaders to take decisive steps to stop the over-exploitation of the world’s tropical domain.

He cautioned that illegal logging, unsupervised agricultural activities and climate change have had a negative toll on the forest regions – threatening its ecology and biodiversity.

“Let us think globally but act locally, prioritising environmental stewardship alongside development,” he advised.

The President made the appeal while addressing the closing ceremony of the International Conference on Afforestation and Reforestation in Brazzaville, Congo.

The Conference aimed to unite global efforts in mitigating climate risks through extensive tree-planting initiatives and adopt a declaration on afforestation while incorporating the “African and Global Decade of Afforestation” into the United Nations (UN) Agenda.

The event comes as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth report warns of greater-than-anticipated climate risks, especially for vulnerable African nations.

It aligns with the sustainable development goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, emphasising the role of forests in combating climate change and supporting global economic recovery.

The Conference’s cardinal objectives encompasses establishing a global afforestation strategy, increasing carbon sequestration, preserving biodiversity, and supporting forest-based goods and services.

President Akufo-Addo drew attention to the need for increased and dedicated financing to sustain efforts at reversing the damage caused to the environment.

“The tropical domain, home to nearly half of the world’s forests, cannot fund the required US$393 billion annually alone.

“We must pool resources and incentivise local communities to protect forests,” he pleaded.

He said investing in research and technology to enhance the understanding of forest dynamics was equally crucial to improving reforestation efforts.

The President pointed out forests were invaluable as they provided ecological, economic, and cultural benefits essential to human life.

“Our forests are vital ecological assets and an integral part of our heritage and identity. We must protect and restore them for future generations.”

President Akufo-Addo assured that Ghana was committed to leading in forest conservation and restoration, and would help to ensure a sustainable future for all.

Since 2016, the Government has seen to the establishment of over one million hectares of forest plantations, enrichment planting, and native tree seedling projects.

“These efforts have created rural employment for thousands and supported food security through agroforestry initiatives.

“Our Green Ghana Day Initiative, launched in 2021, has seen the planting of over 52 million trees in just four years, thanks to the enthusiastic participation of citizens, schools, and the private sector,” the President noted.

Source: GNA

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