Youth Speaker entry #57: Richard Essoun (Ghana)

The role of trees in biodiversity and environmental conservation and the provision of environmental services have long been acknowledged. Me and My Tree is a project being implemented by the Energy Center, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and supported by German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and GIZ.

The project which started in June, 2014 has planted three thousand three hundred and ninety eight seedlings (3,998) in sixty-four basic schools in the Ashanti regional capital of Kumasi. The project is expected to contribute to minimizing the adverse effects of climate change, protect landscape resources, provide habitat for wildlife, improve air and water qualities and inculcate into the students the spirit of environmental conservation.

Richard EssounIn each school an environmental club with at least two teachers as patrons and fifty or more students as members has been formed. All the clubs were provided with souvenirs (caps, pens and t-shirts) as a source of motivation and branding. The planted trees are cared for by the club and the implementing team. Regular monthly monitoring visits are carried out to assess the growth of the trees. Tree planting activities were preceded by a workshop organized for the teachers in the participating schools in May, 2014. A similar workshop was organized for the students in ten schools on how to protect the environment in March, 2015 – May, 2015.

The observations were that majority of the basic schools have a vast tracts of land adjacent to the schools and offer the potential for scaling-up and including more schools. With the massive show of support by the students and their teachers, the Ghana Education Service and the Metropolitan Assembly, the project is poised for further extension in the season ahead.

The major challenge is the destruction of trees by small ruminants and theft by local residents. To consolidate the gains made so far, a second phase of seedling distribution to replace dead and stolen seedling is ongoing. All seedlings are being protected by cages built using readily available local materials.

With expected 95% seedling survival, Me and My Tree Project is not only contributing to re-greening Kumasi, the once upon a time garden city, but also developing the interest and consciousness of the future generation in environmental conservation.

Text, photo and video are submitted by Richard Essoun (Ghana) – ressuon(at)gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as an application by the author, to speak as a youth representative at the World Forestry Congress. Have a look at the other entries too!

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74 thoughts on “Youth Speaker entry #57: Richard Essoun (Ghana)

  1. Wow such a great project, Richard congrats for the good work. There has been serious concern throughout the world about climate change and I believe that your project will go a long way to kind of protect our environment to some extent since we are just in one part of the world. Wish you all the success you need.

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  2. Great job richard the role of trees in sustainable dev’t and in fighting against global warming cannot be doubted. Would like to know the major challenges u face and why not possibly extend beyond Kumasi

    Liked by 1 person

    • The major challenges are mostly destruction by small ruminants and theft by the local residents.

      The project can be extended to other areas too provided we have enough funding.

      We hope to get the selected for this years World Forestry Congress to gain more recognition.

      thanks Neba Fabrice Abunde for your comment

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    • Thanks Emmanuel. For those who are new to Ghana, we have ten (10) regions and this project is been implemented in only one of the regions. With hard word and supports, we will be happy to get the other regions involved.

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  3. Great to see your efforts in greening Kumasi once again. I hope you will have the opportunity to share your passion and vision to the rest of the world in south Africa. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wonderful work being done Mr. Essoun. this is a very important project you are embarking on because as the saying goes ‘the day the last tree dies the last man dies’. keep doing what you are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a laudable initiative. It is good to involve the youth and it would help them to appreciate the importance of trees and green environment especially to manage climate change.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Planting and overseeing close to 4000 seedlings requires great focus and determination which you have demonstrated by your ability to prevent small ruminants and thieves. I am proud of someone like you doing something for the greater good of all and along the way bringing unimaginable benefits to the environment. Bravo Richard!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Impressive work done Rich. But i want to know the way forward. Do you have plans of extending the projects to other regions?

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    • Actually the second face of the project just began with the distribution of seedlings. So far over 2,000 seedlings have been distributed in addition to the over 4,000 seedlings

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  8. Educative and massive project. This project has reached out to several children educating them on the need to keep the environment clean and safe, improve biodiversity while in turn addressing climate change. The generation which will put Kumasi back together has started work already through this capacity building. Big ups Richard continue the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice job done. if everyone were to emulate your Kumasi would have been restored its “garden city” of west Africa.Keep on with the great works.

    Liked by 1 person

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