By Kofi Adu Domfeh
A decade ago, an entire forest had to give way for infrastructure development in establishing the Catholic University College at Fiapre in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana.
The change in the ecology has been a cause of concern to students and the university’s faculty.
Conscious of the importance of trees in the global changing climate, there is now a drive to re-green the university community whilst conserving remaining tree species within and around the campus.
A target of five thousand trees should be planted by 2017 to restore the natural ecology, says faculty member, Edward Twum-Anane.
“For now, the focus is on the planting of the trees to mitigate the effects of climate change,” he noted. “We want to instill in our students the need to take environmental action to protect the environment on campus and protect the environment in cities and towns where they come from the effects of climate change.”
Environmental consciousness is high among the students operating under the banner of ENACTUS, whose sustainable innovative projects are life-impacting using entrepreneurial approaches and interventions.
Their tree planting exercise dubbed “Going Green, Greening our Earth Project” is aimed at protecting, preserving and maintain the environment and climate, explained Project Manager, Agbesi Wolanyo Koku.
“Governments have been crying the world over seeking a common way to manage the issue of global warming and for that purpose ENACTUS wanted to contribute the least that they could to avert that problem and tree planting was one of the ways we could do that,” he noted.
Shade trees as well as some economic trees are being planted – about 500 trees have so far been planted.
Faculty Advisor for ENACTUS Catholic University, Mrs. Vida Korang, is hopeful the project will be extended to neighboring communities to engage young pupils to be conscious of the need to lead in activities that protect the environment.
Waste management is also a priority, she said, especially recycling of waste products to benefit the university economically.
She advocates that “if you cut down one tree, plant three or five trees”.
“All campuses are being developed for infrastructural purposes to be able to accommodate the increasing population, so my advice to all institutions is that whenever we cut down any tree to give way for construction, we should make the effort to replace it per the way we decorate our environment,” recommended the environmentalist.