Tree planting exercise provides sustenance for human existence- Speaker

The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has opined that the Green Gay Day (tree planting) exercise is at the center of providing sustenance for human existence.

Addressing a tree planting exercise organised by the legislative body, the Speaker said ”In today’s world, issues of the environment and climatic change have become topical, not because they are fashionable, but because they are existential issues for you and I, and every living thing on this planet. There is a veritable threat to human existence, which is typified by the impact of environmental degradation on the climate and on our lives”.

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He explained that speeches delivered during the exercise are not the most important but issues affecting the environment.

He raised concern over rising sea levels across communities in the country.

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”To the participants in today’s Green Ghana Day tree planting exercise, I believe speeches like the one I am delivering are the least important, particularly in a situation in which when we look to the south, the sea is rising around us all the time. Parts of La have been completely wiped off the surface of this earth, and it is gradually being forgotten. It was a growing beach community called Bortor. Today, we hardly remember it again. Huge portions of Keta, Dzelukope and allied beach communities and settlements in the Volta Region have been completely eclipsed by tidal waves. Today. Residents in these areas point to kilometers into the sea to show where their houses once stood and the European cemetery laid. We cannot afford such occurrences anymore. The time to act is now, and that is why we are all here. We need to dial the re-tune knob on climate change!”

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Read the full statement below

REMARKS BY THE RT. HON. SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, ALBAN SUMANA KINGSFORD BAGBIN, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2022 EDITION OF THE GREEN GHANA DAY ON FRIDAY, JUNE 10 2022 IN ACCRA

Hon. Deputy Speakers of Parliament

Hon. Members of Parliament

The Clerk to Parliament and Deputy Clerks

Directors and Staff of the Parliamentary Service Members of the Parliamentary Press Corps

Members of the Fourth Realm

Ladies and Gentlemen!

We gather here yet again for a very important exercise to plant tree-seedlings. These tree-seedlings are to be nurtured, tendered and grown to become trees, the basis of our lives. This is the day, 10th Of June, every year, we have adopted as Green

Ghana Day.

Distinguished participants, this tree planting exercise, however ceremonial it might look, is at the center of providing sustenance for human existence. In today’s world, issues of the environment and climatic change have become topical, not because they are fashionable, but because they are existential issues for you and I, and every living thing on this planet. There is a veritable threat to human existence, which is typified by the impact of environmental degradation on the climate and on our lives.

You might have noticed that parliament is not sitting to do its daily business today. Members of the House – both the Majority and Minority groups – have travelled to

1their constituencies, to join their constituents in the tree planting exercise. This bears testimony to the statement once made by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, that “saving the planet isn’t a partisan issue”. No matter what our political persuasion is, it behooves on all Ghanaians to join in the efforts at protecting our environment, and by extension saving our planet.

It is our elders who say that “a toad does not run in the day time for nothing. If you see a toad running during the day time, it means there is something after its life”. The Hon Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has told us specifically, what it is that is after our lives. He took us through the statistics and other data in relation to the threat on our existence. He also recalled what we did during last year’s Green Ghana Day, and explained what we plan to do today. The information provided is important. Over and beyond that however, Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist, said “climate change is more than statistics; it is more than data points; it is more than net-zero targets. It is about the people: it is about the people who are being impacted right now”. I will add further that, tree planting is about the existence of life, the earth and all living things on it..

What we tend to forget very often is that there is a nexus between the extent to which we protect our environment and our growth and development as a nation. Ghana can therefore not successfully pursue an economic development and growth agenda, if we continue to consign our environmental and climate challenges to the environmental scientists alone. “Climate change is such a huge issue that it requires a strong, concerted, consistent and enduring action by governments”, so says the Australian musician, Peter Garrett. Indeed, we require

2degradation.

strong partnerships to forestall the destruction occasioned by environmental

To the participants in today’s Green Ghana Day tree planting exercise, I believe speeches like the one I am delivering are the least important, particularly in a situation in which when we look to the south, the sea is rising around us all the time. Parts of La have been completely wiped off the surface of this earth, and it is gradually being forgotten. It was a growing beach community called Bortor. Today, we hardly remember it again. Huge portions of Keta, Dzelukope and allied beach communities and settlements in the Volta Region have been completely eclipsed by tidal waves. Today. Residents in these areas point to kilometers into the sea to show where their houses once stood and the European cemetery laid. We cannot afford such occurrences anymore. The time to act is now, and that is why we are all here. We need to dial the re-tune knob on climate change!

My only wish is that today’s annual event will not be for just tree seedlings planting: instead, let us make it a tree growing exercise. Let us look out for the trees we plant and make sure they grow. That is the best way to make progress on climate change. With that, I applaud and thank you all participation in this exercise. Always remember, when the last tree dies, the last man dies.

By: Rainbowradioonline.com/Ghana

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