Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, is taking steps to join global efforts geared towards climate change mitigation, with the planting of and management of 2.5 million different tree species along the Lake Bosomtwe basin in the Bosomtwe District in the Ashanti Region.
The move also aims at protecting water bodies in Asanteman whiles also improving ecosystem service provision and environmental consciousness among inhabitants of fringe communities around the lake.
A press statement copied to the Ghana News Agency from the Manhyia Palace and jointly signed by Mr. Lawrence Akwasi Prempeh, Private Secretary to the Asantehene and Mr. Fred Kyei Sapong, Executive Director of Oheneba Poku Foundation, said “the apparent symbolic climate gesture, would more importantly reverse the reduction of the water level of water bodies”.
The statement said it was also a landscape restoration intervention around the lake over a five-year period during which 4,000 hectares of land would be planted with the said trees.
“A tripartite agreement to this effect has been signed by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Otumfour, as custodian of the Lake,” the statement said.
The Manhyia Palace is partnering Oheneba Poku Foundation for the implementation of the project in collaboration with other stakeholders such as the Forestry Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Resources Commission as well as the Bosomtwe and Bosome Freho District Assemblies, according to the statement.
The Amakomhene, Nana Adu Mensah Asare, has been tasked by Otumfuo to chair the implementation committee and oversee the successful implementation of the project.
Lake Bosomtwe which is Ghana’s only natural lake, had been designated a Biosphere Reserve Site since 2016 by UNESCO, to promote a healthy balance between biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use.
The statement said the project would adopt multiple schemes for tree planting, particularly a mixture of agroforestry and pure plantation.
In the case of agroforestry, according to the statement, the project would liaise with individual farmers to integrate trees on their farmlands and manage them. On the other hand, planting on fallow lands would either be done through enrichment planting or full reforestation.
Indigenous tree species would be planted in the area to at least restore the cultural heritage.
This, the statement said, would help return the area to a well-functioning ecosystem where services would be obtained that supported the daily subsistence of inhabitants such as collection of snails, mushrooms and other non-timber forest products.