By Chinenye Anuforo

AstraZeneca, alongside its partners NGPTA iNovaland, has announced a major expansion of its tree planting efforts in Ghana. Through the “Atebubu and Wiase Forest Landscape Restoration” project, a six million tree planting initiative will be undertaken as part of the company’s global AZ Forest Programme.

A community engagement ceremony held in Atebubu on June 7th marked the official launch of the project. Themed “Promoting healthy environments for healthy communities,” the event brought together farmers, project partners, and environmental advocates to celebrate progress on reforestation and adoption of sustainable practices.

Under the project, five million trees will be dedicated to natural forest restoration, while the remaining one million will be planted through community-led agroforestry endeavors. This approach builds on the over 4 million trees already planted in the past three years through similar initiatives.

AstraZeneca’s African Cluster Country President, Deepak Arora, emphasized the importance of collaboration in tackling environmental challenges and fostering community well-being. He highlighted the connection between a healthy environment and public health, stating that AstraZeneca is committed to addressing environmental factors that impact human health.

Deepak Arora, Country President – African Cluster at AstraZeneca, said: “At AstraZeneca, we recognize the critical link between a thriving environment and health. Through AZ Forest and our commitment to sustainability, we’re driving positive environmental and health impacts, witnessing the positive change such efforts can bring to communities. We’re honored to collaborate with NGPTA iNovaland and other stakeholders in this tree planting campaign. By co-designing this project, we ensure local communities are central to landscape restoration, delivering natural forest restoration and agroforestry with ecological, economic, and community benefits.”

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Since its launch in Ghana in 2022, AZ Forest has addressed local challenges such as deforestation, declining soil fertility, agricultural productivity, unemployment, and forest fires. Over 3.8 million trees have been planted so far, contributing to a more resilient food system, higher incomes for farmers, and stronger, healthier communities.

Abraham Yelley, Project Coordinator for NGPTA iNovaland, spoke about the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing environmental and social challenges. “This project is about transforming lives, not just planting trees,” Yelley said. “By uniting communities and stakeholders, we’ve mobilized over 1,000 farmers in agroforestry, provided high-quality seedlings, and offered technical support. Together, we’re addressing food security, enhancing nutrition, building climate resilience, and creating a healthier, more prosperous future for communities.”

With alarming environmental threats, programs like AZ Forest and national initiatives like Green Ghana Day are crucial in combating climate change and fostering environmental sustainability. The farmer-led planting activities will continue beyond the initial launch, contributing to a significant increase in tree cover.

Green Ghana Day is an annual event highlighting Ghana’s dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable development through tree planting to boost green cover, biodiversity, and combat climate change.

 

 


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