A project to strengthen the integration of Ghana’s natural resources management and increase its benefits to communities in the Savannah and cocoa forest landscapes has been launched in Accra.
Dubbed the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP), which would be implemented at a cost of US$103 million, it would also support sustainable land, water, and forest management initiatives in climate-vulnerable target landscapes and support the formalisation of small-scale mining.
It was launched by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) with funding from the World Bank.
The GLRSSMP geographically targets the Northern Savannah Zone, including Guinea Savannah ecological zone, Sudan Savannah ecological zone, and upper portions of the Transitional ecological zone and the cocoa forest landscape which comprise parts of the Forest ecological zone and the Pra River Basin.
Launching the project virtually yesterday, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, said the project would additionally ensure a multi-sector approach to land management.
He noted that the GLRSSMP would capitalise on land-use planning for integrated landscape management to optimise land use, formalise artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) for sustainable mining.
The project, he said, would also restore degraded lands and promote sustainable agricultural practices.
The Minister stated that the project would help strengthen sustainable management of forest landscapes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services.
“The project will help develop healthy ecosystems that can play essential role in mitigation, adaptation, and resilience to climate change. This will positively affect the cocoa industry and increase its impact on the country’s GDP,” he added.
He said the government was committed to ensuring the efficient management and utilisation of the country’s natural resources, adding that the Ministry was determined to make the legalisation of artisanal and small scale mining users and rid the sector of illegalities.
“Together we can, and we must build and formalise our artisanal and small scale mining sector to deliver a viable, responsible, sustainable and environmentally-sound small scale mining sectorthat contributes to national development without destroying the environment,” Mr Jinapor stated.
Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, said the GLRSSMP would strengthen Ghana’s system of integrated natural resource and increase the benefits to the communities in the targeted Savannah forest landscape.
Pierre Frank Laporte, Country Director of World Bank, said the project would support the efforts of the government in promoting integrated landscape management that cuts across various environmental sectors, notably agriculture, forestry and mining.
The project, he said, would contribute to among others, regularise small scale and artisanal mining popularly known as “Galamsey” while protecting livelihoods and creating jobs.
He said as part of this new climate change action plan, the World Bank had committed to further increase its climate financing, assuring that by 2023, all financing provided by the world Bank would be compliant with the Paris Agreement.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS