Addressing land degradation and ensuring improved crop production

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Atewa Forest

The implementation of the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP), through holistic approach, sustainable landscape management and other targeted actions, will help address land degradation and ensure improved crop production.

United Nations Development ProgrammeHolistic management at the landscape level, forest and minerals could help address degradation, enhance resilience and improve livelihoods.

Mr Charles Acquah Jnr, Project Coordinator for the Landscape option of the GLRSSMP, stated this at the inception and planning workshop of the project held at Ejisu, near Kumasi.

The project aims at placing landscape and mining sectors management on a trajectory that would transition from degraded landscapes, poverty and low productivity, towards one with resilient landscapes and high productivity for high economic returns.

It would also strengthen integrated natural resource management and increase benefits to communities in targeted savannah and cocoa forest landscapes.

The implementing agencies of the project are the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology (MEST), The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) with support from the World Bank.

Mr Acquah noted that the project presented an opportunity to reverse the land and forest degradation trends through improved institutional and regulatory frameworks.

These included strengthening the enabling environment and integrated landscape management with focus on improved sustainable agricultural productivity, sustainable small scale mining (SSM) and Sustainable Water and Forest Resource Management (WFRM).

The GLRSSM project activities include enhanced governance in support of Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM), project monitoring and knowledge management and contingency emergency response component.

According to Mr Acquah, the beneficiaries of the project included small-scale crop farmers investing in improved practices of crop production, and landscape planning management and ASM operators.

They would benefit from enhanced productivity due to formalization, introduction to new technologies and alternative livelihoods support.

Mr Samuel Oteng, Ashanti Regional Director of EPA, said the project would contribute to the government’s efforts towards the attainment of the sustainable development goals one, 13 and 14.

“Ensuring access to natural resources and building the resilience of the poor and vulnerable population and reducing their vulnerability to climate related extreme events.”

He said it would further confront the devastating impacts created by illegal mining and other related land degradation which had affected water supply and food security.

The project would also afford key stakeholders the opportunity to take appropriate and collective action plan to smoothing the implementation process.

Mr  Dubiure Umaru Farouk, Operations Manager for Wildlife Protected Areas in Accra, said the project would help address the numerous challenges in the agriculture sector, address degradation and ensure sustainable mining.

This would help reduce loss of harvests and improve post storage processing while the degraded sectors of the protected areas would be restored.

By Dorothy Frances Ward, GNA      

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