EPA advocates strengthening management of natural resources

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has appealed to Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) in Northern Ghana to support efforts at restoring degraded lands and strengthening the management of natural resources in the area.

The Regional Director of the EPA in Upper East, Mr Asher Nkegbe who made the appeal was of the view that efforts of the EPA would only yield the needed results if leadership of the various municipal and district assemblies and the regions led the campaign.

Some participants at the meeting 

Mr Nkegbe was speaking at the first local steering committee meeting of the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small Scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP) at Wa.

The six-year USD100 million project which was launched in February this year with funding from the World Bank, sought to among other things, reverse land degradation, improve agriculture productivity and artisanal small scale mining through sustainable land management practices.

Being implemented in 12 districts in the North East, Savannah, Upper West and Upper East regions, the GLRSSMP is a follow up to the Ghana Environmental Management Project and the Ghana Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (SLWMP) which were implemented earlier.

Mr Nkegbe mentioned that active participation of the leadership of the various regions at both the regional and local levels would enhance community acceptance and adoption of the project.

“The GLRSSMP seeks to improve upon income generation of community members for improved sustainable livelihood in order to conquer poverty,” the Director explained.

He called on theRCCs to support the project by enshrining sustainable land management practices in their Medium Term Development Plans and ensured that they were implemented.

Mr Nkegbe mentioned that the project would support investment in climate-smart agriculture as well as conservation and restoration activities to protect and replace lost vegetation cover.

“We will also work to improve revenue for small-scale miners and cash crop farmers by investing in training for such groups on efficient and less intrusive methods of extraction to help exploit the land and mineral resources without serious implication to the environment,” he said.

He also sent an appeal to communities within beneficiary districts to collaborate with the implementing partners by releasing lands and other resources at their disposal to facilitate the implementation of the various interventions outlined under the project.

The GLRSSMP is been implemented in conjunction with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Forest Services Division, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, the Water Resources Commission, Forest Research Institute, the Ghana National Fire Service and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

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