A review and planning workshop towards the effective implementation of the $103million Ghana natural resources management and sustainable landscape restoration project has been held for stakeholders in the Northern part of Ghana.
The event, which was held in the Upper Eat Regional capital, Bolgatanga, brought together Directors and officers from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, Forestry Commission and Wildfire Division among others.
Dubbed: “Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project” (GLRSSMP), it is a government of Ghana and World Bank funded project with support from the Global Environment Facility, International Development Association, PROGREEN and Extractives Global Programmatic Support among others.
The six-year project is being implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MESTI) and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
The project is building on lessons, experiences and successes from implementing the Ghana Sustainable Land and Water Management and Forest Investment Projects and several reforms taken by government to strengthen Ghana’s natural resources management, restore degraded forest and landscapes and increase benefits to communities in Northern Savannah and Cocoa Forest Zones.
The project geographically targets the Northern Savannah Zone including the Guinea Savannah ecological zone, the Sudan Savannah ecological zone, and the upper portions of the Transitional ecological zone, and Cocoa Forest Landscape including including parts of the Forest ecological zone and the Pra River Basin.
Mr Isaac Charles Acquah Jnr, the Project Coordinator in charge of Landscape Restoration, GLRSSMP, noted that the project would not only strengthen integrated landscape and formalise artisanal and small scale mining but would also play a vital role in enhancing national development when successfully implemented.
He said it would help improve institutional and regulatory frameworks with a focus on strengthening the enabling environment and integrated landscape management to promote improved sustainable agricultural productivity, sustainable small scale mining and sustainable forest and water resource management.
“The GLRSSMP will provide a unique opportunity for the project to collaborate with other ongoing land restoration and mining projects in the country, to tackle the challenges created by the illegal small scale miners within the landscape such as pollution of water bodies and their immediate environs, destruction of farmlands and forest reserves,” which have had negative consequences on food security, human health, environmental quality improvements and other aspects of national development,” he said
Among other things, it would contribute to protecting and ensuring access to natural resources and building the resilience of the poor and vulnerable population and reducing their vulnerability to climate-related extreme events
It would also enable them to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact and protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
This, he added, would contribute to restoring the livelihood of the vulnerable and promote Ghana’s effort to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly, goals one, 13 and 15.
“GLRSSMP will coordinate with ComCashew to expand cashew cultivation to cover over 3,000 hectares and value chain activities in the northern savannah ecological zone of Ghana, focusing on the Western Wildlife Corridor to improve incomes and livelihoods of community members in the corridor,” he added.
Mr Asher Nkegbe, the Upper East Regional Director, EPA, noted that interventions from the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (SLWMP) would be employed to strategically implement the project to reduce poverty and vulnerability to climate change impact.
By Anthony Apubeo, GNA