Under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Ghanaian government, in collaboration with the Ghana Forestry Commission, announced their intention to plant 5 million trees across the country on June 11, 2021, to commemorate the Green Ghana Project.
Many people supported the exercise, and it left a lasting impression on the country and the world. Key figures in the news planting trees included the Chairman of the State, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Vice President Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, Parliamentary Chairman Alban Bagbin, and Justice Chief Kwasi Anin Yeboa.
To ensure that everyone in the country has access to seedlings, the government has established seedlings and various sites as collection points.
Many photos of people planting trees have been shared on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and, in particular, WhatsApp, in support of the initiative.
The project is expected to cost 125 million Ghana cedis, which the minister of lands and natural resources refers to as a “future investment.” A 60-member committee planned and oversaw the project.
ACCOUNTABILITY: HOW DO WE ACCOUNT FOR THIS?
“As part of the programme, we are seeking to work out a formula where the trees to be planted will be economic trees. We are talking about the Timber, Wawa, Nim, Rosewood, Shea trees. The rationale for this intervention is so that in planting the trees, we are also making an investment for the future. (Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor joy FM online, June 9 2021 at 8:03pm).
Trees should be planted in schools, homes, large land plantations, churches, communities, street avenues, and boundaries, according to the committee.
While listening to interviews in which people express their joy, many were asked what trees they grew, and their responses included mango, coconut, orange, and so on. They explained that they wanted to kill two birds with one stone. “How many timber, Wawa, Nim, Rosewood, and shear trees were planted?” my mind has been racing.
How many trees have been planted in schools, homes, large land plantations, and churches? How many trees were planted in communities? How many trees were planted in the avenues of the streets? How many trees have been planted in the street? How many plants were there in total? Finally yet importantly, did we reach our 5-million-person goal?
Does the mere planting of 5 million trees imply that we have made a future investment? The most important stages of a tree’s life are NURTURE and CARE. Who cares for the trees planted by the President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, and Chief Justice? Would they go and look after them, or have they delegated that duty to someone else? How do those who plant trees maintain their motivation to CARE FOR and NURTURE the trees they plant?
WHAT DOES GIS GOT THIS?
Geographic information system (GIS) is a technological field that uses geographical features (such as trees) in conjunction with tabular data to map, analyze, and assess real-world problems. GIS analysis can yield derivative information. GIS can answer questions such as how many trees; Wawa, Nim, Rosewood, and shear were planted. How many trees were planted in schools? as well as the other questions I raised above.
GIS Can Help Evaluate the Impact of the Project
Geographic information system (GIS) is a technology that maps, analyzes, and evaluates real-world problems by combining geographical features (such as trees) with their characteristics in tabular format. GIS analysis can produce derived data. GIS can provide answers to questions such as how many Wawa, Nim, Rosewood, and Shear trees were planted. How many trees have been planted in classrooms? as well as the other concerns I raised earlier.
Predict the future Impact of the Green Ghana Project
International organizations such as GIZ, Norad, Troenbos Ghana, WWD, the IUCN national committee of the Netherlands, and others are excited about Green Ghana.
By calculating the growing degree days of each plant, GIS can estimate when each plant will mature based on information such as its maturity period. This would aid in determining when we can expect the benefit that we all expect. GIS can tell how much more vegetation has been added over time and how it contributes to climate change using baseline data on the country’s vegetation cover today.
Physical Monitoring Of the Plants
By storing the base temperature of each plant in the database, GIS can help continuously monitor the status of the plants and report abnormalities in order for the necessary measures to be taken on time. This would be accomplished by regularly calculating the trees’ Growing Degree Days (GDD).
The use of GIS could have greatly aided this project. It is not too late; more work, time, and possibly a little money will be required, but the 125 million will be well spent.
Author: Francis Abeku Andorful, GIS Solution Specialist