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Ghana churches start planting two million trees

May 5, 2011:

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana has sent ARC the first photos of an ambitious programme to plant two million trees around the country and train communities and fire fighters to nurture and protect them.

The programme was first detailed in its seven year plan launched at Windsor Castle in November 2009 and is designed both to help poor communities meet their livelihood needs and to restore degraded savannah. Around 100,000 seedlings are to be planted in community woodlots.

So far the Church has concentrated on the Yendi, Saboba and Chereponi areas in the north of the country and the Ho, Ve-Koloenu and Dambai areas in the south.

In these photographs, villagers are harvesting trees planted in sustainable woodlots for fuel - this practice will alleviate the pressure of removing trees from natural forests. The Church also offers training in the manufacture of energy efficient stoves, so in future perhaps less wood will be required.

As part of the pledge to nurture the trees after the planting is done, the Church is also training 200 fire-fighter volunteers who will learn how to stop forest fires in replanted areas.

How is the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana creating this change?

  • It holds regular public meetings to create awareness of the need to manage and use environmental resources on a sustainable basis.
  • It provides support to farmers and communities, and helps them obtain seedlings, and to tend the plants as they grow. It also provides training workshops to help community members develop skills in snail farming, bee keeping and other alternative livelihood programmes.
  • It is actively trying to raise awareness about climate change in its congregations with particular emphasis on the need to conserve forest resources. It will use its schools, radio discussions and public meetings to help achieve this. It will target rural church communities to communicate basic information on climate change.
  • It will integrate the theme of climate change into worship, liturgy, preaching and into the curricula of the Church’s theological institutions.
  • It will establish eco-congregations at all levels.

Who is the Church working with?

Members of the volunteer fire brigade
    1) Secular Bodies: The Church is co-operating with government and NGO agencies for the protection of the environment. The Agenda 21 programme will work to implement the above project in collaboration with specialists from the Ghana Wildlife Division, the Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Forest Services Division, the Ghana National Fire Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

    2) Religious Bodies. In July 2010 the Church became part of the Religious Bodies Network on Climate Change (RELBONET) to advocate for policy that mitigates the effects of climate change.

How is this funded?

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana receives support from the US-based Interfaith Power and Light Campaign under ARC's eco-twinning project, in which congregations in America support faith-based environmental projects in Africa.

Links

Evangelical Presbyterian Church Seven Year Plan.
Interfaith Power and Light.
List of all Seven Year Plans and other longterm environment faith commitments.
ARC's photo gallery.




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Related pages

List of Faith Commitments including Seven-Year Plans
A list of the long term commitments made by faiths to protect the living planet, as ARC receives them. Includes Seven, Eight, Nine and Five Year Plans.
What does Christianity teach about ecology?
The basic environmental beliefs of Christianity.
May 5, 2011:
Ghana churches start planting two million trees
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana has sent ARC the first photos of an ambitious programme to plant two million trees around the country and train communities and fire fighters to nurture and protect them.