After over 35 years in Europe, I returned to my village in the Volta region in Ghana. I realised going to my farm that most of the big trees (Odum, Mahogany, Wawa, Sapele etc.) I used to see when I was young had been cut.

My investigation showed that the owners of these trees, had sold them to “chainsaw operators”, some for as low as GHC50:- equivalent to: US$12.5 or £10 or €11 or Skr11.

Most of these farmers can barely make ends meet. I understand their plight. I decided to form a co-operative in the village: Baleeh Trees Preservation Co-operative. The aim of the co-operative is to stop destroying our trees and forests to help save our planet earth.

How do we do this? By the tree or forest owner offering it to the co-operative for a monthly fee, depending on the type of tree or the acreage. The co-operative will then ensure that the forest is not cleared and that the tree is not felled or cut down.

Baleeh Trees Preservation Co-operative (BTPC) will offer these trees and forests areas to anyone interested. That person, however, has to donate a minimum of £20, €24 or $25 monthly. This money, apart from paying for the tree or forest owner, will be used to hire inspectors go to the farms to ensure that the forests or trees entrusted to the co-operative are safe.

Unlike the many NGOs in Ghana who use the monies sent from abroad to build private houses, buy luxurious cars and to care for their families, our co-operative will not be headed by one person taking decisions, but by a committee that decides on all matters.

The trees a donor owns will bear his or her name. In addition, pictures of the tree will be sent to the donor. The donor will always be welcome to visit the village to verify if his or her tree/s really exist and if not can take legal action against the co-operative for fraud.

See bellow photos of some ODUM tress we want to save.

Anyone interested in helping to save our planet and wants to contribute to this may ring GHANA (00233-503588315 /241854167) for details.

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