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Ghana - 04 January, 2016
Twenty school children from the Choggu Demonstration Primary School in the Northern Region, the Kultamise Junior High and the Ghana Senior High schools in the Upper East and Eastern Regions respectively which came first in a on Climate Change for Ghanaian school children were afforded a study tour of some key forestry locations by Tropenbos International (TBI) Ghana as part of their prize.
The contest was organised by the European Union (EU) in Ghana in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Embassies of France and Norway.
Over 800 schools across the ten regions of Ghana participated in the drawing contest which was under the theme “Seed for Change – Plant an idea to deal with climate change in Ghana”.
It was launched in September this year ahead of the Conference on Climate (CoP21) which was held in Paris this year.
The two-day tour which begun on November 30 2015, included a visit to the Seed Centre and Bio-Technology laboratories of the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) at Kumasi in the Ashanti Region where the students received lectures on how to distinguish viable tree seeds from non-viable ones, how to store seeds to preserve their viability as well as modern technologies being used to ascertain the viability of seeds and develop seeds with desirable traits through genetic engineering.
The children also visited the FORIG nursery where they were treated to a demonstration on how to nurse tree seedlings and transplant them without damaging them.
The study tour also took the school children to the Bobiri Forest Reserve in the Ejisu District of the Ashanti Region to visit the Aboretum where they undertook a tour of the forest and were introduced to indigenous tree species, their uses as well as the local myths surrounding them.
At the Supon Forest Reserve in the Assin Fosu Forest District of the Central Region where the Breman Anwhiam Agroforestry Association is presently undertaking an agroforestry scheme under the Chainsaw Milling (CSM) Project, the children were taken around a forest rehabilitation site which included a tree nursery and a reforestation site with trees ranging from two to nine years.
In order for the children to appreciate the contribution of reforestation to mitigating climate change as well as its long term benefits, they were shown two films on afforestation.
The first film, entitled, “Reversing Deforestation in Thailand” depicted how poor agronomic practices led to deforestation and impoverishment of a community in Thailand and how the situation was reversed through the practice of agroforestry and afforestation.
The second film entitled “Green Gold” a documentary by John D. Liu showed how degraded landscapes can be restored through the adoption of land use practices such as afforestation and permaculture.
The students were presented with a set of seeds ideal for planting in their various localities and gardening implements including wheelbarrows, spades, wellington boots, hand gloves, and watering cans to encourage them to plant trees in their schools as a way of mitigating climate change.