Earth Day 2021 – US Ambassador supports Otumfuo to protect Lake Bosomtwe

By Press Release, Support, Tree Planting

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan, on Thursday joined Asanteman to plant trees along the buffer of Lake Bosomtwe at Ankaase in the Bosomwe District to mark World Earth Day.

The day is observed every year on April 22 to create awareness about pollution and to celebrate the environmental blue planet.

“Restore Our Earth” which is the theme for this year’s celebration, focuses on natural processes and emerging green technologies that can restore the world’s ecosystems.

It is in line with this that the Regional Environment Office of the U.S. Embassy chose to plant 2,000 trees along Lake Bosomtwe to commemorate the day in support of the Asante Kingdom Land Restoration Project (AKLRP).

The AKLRP is an ambitious initiative that seeks to preserve water bodies and forests in the Asante Kingdom as a means of addressing emerging climate change challenges.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the King of the Asante Kingdom as part of his commitment to complement global efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change across the world, launched the project in 2019 with the aim of restoring depleted buffers of water bodies.

The project is implemented by Oheneba Poku Foundation, which is working in partnership with state institutions such as the Water Resources Commission, Forestry Commission, Fisheries Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and District Assemblies.

The tree planting exercise brought together all the key stakeholders including; representatives from the Bosome Freho and Bosomtwe District assemblies, Manhyia Palace, Regional Coordinating Council, fringe communities of the Lake and school children.

Ms. Sullivan said the day was a call to action by all stakeholders to renew their commitments to a healthier and more resilient future for the people around the world and the planet.

She said climate change represented the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and Ghana for that matter, adding that it would affect vital water resources, energy supplies, crop production and food security if urgent measures were not taken to address them.

“Agriculture remains the backbone of Ghana’s economy, supplying over 70 per cent of national food requirements. And since Ghanaian agriculture is predominantly rain-fed, it remains vulnerable to climate change”.

The U.S. Ambassador said Lake Bosomtwe was an excellent example of why addressing climate change was a priority for the Biden Administration and the world and applauded Ghana’s efforts to mainstream climate change policies in its national development strategies and its commitment to developing ambitious nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement.

She commended Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for showing leadership by launching the AKLRP to mobilize the people to protect water bodies and pledge her commitment to support the project.

Nana Adu Mensah Asare, the Amankomhene who represented the Asantehene, highlighted the progress that the project had made in protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment at the Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve.

“We can be proud of the actions we have taken as a nation to protect the environment for ourselves and our children, but there was a lot to be done and I invite you all to join us to take the decisive actions to restore our planet.”, he implored.

He said soil degradation through soil erosion had been the main form of land degradation in the Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve and many parts of the country, resulting in nutrient loss and thereby, and reducing agricultural productivity.

Protect Lake Bosomtwe by planting trees

By News, Support

Three fringe communities on the Lake Bosomtwe Basin have embarked on a tree planting exercise as part of efforts to protect the lake.

The Amakom, Adjaman and Atafram communities embarked on the exercise under the Asantehene Land Restoration Project, which coincided with this year’s International Day of Forests and World Water Day celebrations.

The Forests and World Water days are celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of forests to the people and their vital role in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and food security.

Led by Nana Adu Mensah Asare, the Chief of Kumasi Amakom and Chairman of the Asantehene Land Restoration Project, the three communities planted hundreds of tree species in the buffer zones of the Lake, which continue to dry up due to human activities.

The King of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is executing the project with support from the Oheneba Poku Foundation and Blaze Metal Resources, which seeks to restore 40,000 hectares of degradable lands in the Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve.

The target is to plant and manage three million trees by 2024 out of which 2.5 million would be planted in the buffer of the Lake.

Nana Adu Mensah said the Asantehene’s vision was not only to protect Ghana’s only natural lake and other water bodies but also restore lands and forests that had been degraded in his Kingdom.

He said the expectation was that those engaging in farming activities around the lake would be forced to vacate as more trees were planted to save the Lake from further dwindling.

Members of all the 22 communities in the biosphere, he said, had shown commitment to support the King in protecting the lake which is one of the major tourist sites in the region.

Mr Fred Kyei Sarpong, the Executive Director of Oheneba Poku Foundation, said the project would have a huge impact on the livelihood of residents in surrounding communities and beyond as it would address virtually all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

He said 110,000 out the 2.5 million trees had already been planted around the Lake and that 1.5 million more would be planted this year.

“We are not just planting the trees but we are managing them together with all the 22 communities in the Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve. So they would naturally own and nurture them knowing how significant the trees are to the lake,” he stated.

“We are not only planting trees but we are introducing conservation agriculture here so that farmers can have sustainable ways of farming and also consider the top soil as the most important asset they have”.

He implored the Bosomtwe and Bosome Freho District Assemblies to strictly enforce their by-laws to make illegal activities around the Lake and forest reserves unattractive.

Mr Yaw Oppong Agyemang, the Country Manager of Blaze Metal Resources, said since most streams uptake their sources from forests, it was important to protect and restore the forests to sustain water bodies.

He said his outfit would continue to support the Asantehene to implement the project to restore the vibrant nature of the Lake, thereby improving the local economy.