Stakeholders in the implementation of the Asante Kingdom Land Restoration Project are advocating strict enforcement of by-laws to ensure the success of the project.
At a meeting in Kumasi to assess the project’s progress, the stakeholders underscored the need to apply the recommended sanctions to offenders to protect the environment and river bodies.
They expressed the view that the adoption of stringent measures, including the enforcement of the by-laws, would help sustain the Asantehene’s climate change agenda.
The Asante Kingdom Land Restoration Project seeks to plant 100 million trees by 2030 around river bodies and degraded lands.
It is being implemented by the Manhyia Palace in partnership with the Oheneba Poku Foundation.
Other collaborators are Blaze Metals, Forestry Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Fisheries Commission, Water Resources Commission, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Bosomtwe District Assembly and Bosome Freho District Assembly
The first phase of the project is targeting over 20 fringe communities of the Bosomtwe Lake in the Bosomtwe District where about 100,000 trees had already been planted.
Nana Adu Mensah Asare, the Amakomhene, who is the representative of the Asantehene on the project, said it was important to take stock and assess the progress and to strategize for the future.
He charged community members to ensure that the trees planted were nurtured and protected to survive.
They should also own the project and protect the Lake, which is a pride of Ashanti, and to preserve the economic benefits local communities derive from tourism.
Mr Fred Kyei Sarpong, the Executive Director of Oheneba Poku Foundation, said the project was part of the Asantehene’s larger climate change agenda in the Asante Kingdom.
He said it was unfortunate for people to destroy the environment and river bodies because of poverty irrespective of the consequences on humanity.
“We are tackling this challenge head-on by ensuring economic development and social inclusion so that everybody would feel part of the exercise to achieve environmental sustainability,” he said.