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Group leads tree plantings in deforestation-wracked Ghana » Yale Climate Connections

In Ghana, forests are being cut down at a rapid rate — driven largely by cocoa farming and illegal gold mining.

Osei-Darkwa: “Large tracts of forests are destroyed, ripping the belly of the Earth in search of gold and other minerals.”

Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa leads the Green Republic Project, a grassroots organization in Ghana.

He says trees help clean and cool the air, create wildlife habitat, soak up water, and reduce storm runoff. And they help limit global warming because they absorb and store carbon dioxide as they grow. 

So his group goes to high schools and colleges to teach students about the benefits that trees provide and lead tree planting projects.

He says since 2018, the Green Republic Project has helped plant about 165,000 seedlings in Ghana. 

It’s a tiny fraction of what the country needs to make up for the deforestation it’s suffered in the past and that continues to this day.

But educating young people and getting them involved with tree planting can help instill a love for trees — and a determination to support larger-scale solutions.

Osei-Darkwa: “And so once you do the education … they become ambassadors to ensure that trees are protected.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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