End the carnage against us: An open letter from trees to Ghana government and Parliament

Mon, 11 Jan 2021 Source: Fidelis Awonodomo Da-uri

Dear MPs of Ghana’s 8th Parliament,

Congratulations! As you prepare to begin implementing your constitutional mandate, and the promises you made to your electorates, we also have a request for you. But before we start, please permit us to introduce ourselves.

We are trees of all spices across Ghana. We hope when you were on your campaign tours to your communities, you might have come across heaps of charcoals, rosewoods packed or loaded on trucks, bushfires, and other harms given to us by your constituents. Some of you might have made pledges and donations to flood victims in northern Ghana, food, and other resources to families suffering from hunger, poverty, and diseases due to climate change.

All these pledges and donations are not sustainable ways of addressing the problems caused by climate change. We need you to educate your constituents on how important we are to human life, and that they should stop cutting us. Where they do, they should be prepared to plant some to replace the unlucky ones.

Honourable House, political will, fight illegal mining, deforestation, bushfires, etc. and the enforcement of Ghana’s relevant laws are enough to reduce the huge tasks ahead of you (satisfying the needs of your constituents). We have noticed that commercial charcoal production for export has become the major occupation in Northern Ghana while illegal mining and its effects on the environment is becoming the major occupation of the youth in recent years.

Day in, day out, our members such as rosewoods are cut down, loaded, and exported. Even our brethren, the Shea trees which produce both food and income to rural vulnerable populations have become the most patronized when burnt into charcoal. Even those who benefit most from their existence lead in the business of cutting them down. Painfully, this charcoal and rosewoods pass through various police checkpoints to the ports where they are finally exported.

According to Global Forest Watch, your country Ghana as of 2018, lost about 60% of its primary rainforest, the highest loss in the world. This is not a good sign for a country and people who want to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.

Your country Ghana has formulated some laws to conserve the natural environment and its resources. However, the concern here is the lack of political will to enforce enacted laws and inadequate accountability by authorities who should ensure that the carnage against us is stopped.

We, therefore, submit this proposal to you to review, enact, amend, and propose laws to protect your natural environment. But most importantly, we want parliament to ensure that various government sectors or departments are summoned to parliament from time to time to account for activities and measures they have been implementing to stop commercial charcoal production for export, deforestation including the cutting of rosewoods, bushfires, and other harmful activities human beings are visiting with us. We also appeal to the next government to resource various agencies and departments responsible for protecting us to enable them to work efficiently and effectively.

We have confidence in the current leadership of parliament led by Honourable Alban Sumana Bagbin whose region is one of the regions commercial charcoal production is carried out in the fight to protect Ghana’s natural environment from further destruction. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Signed by

Tress of all Species Across Ghana

By: Fidelis Awonodomo Da-uri

Green Ambassadors for Climate in Africa CCAO 2020

Columnist: Fidelis Awonodomo Da-uri
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