A two-day international workshop on sustainable land use and management to enhance food production in Ghana and Africa opened in Accra yesterday.
Under the theme “Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN),” the programme is meant to come out with solutions to combat desertification and land degradation to boost food production.
It is being attended by more than 30 experts from across the world including Ghana, Senegal, USA, United Kingdom and the Netherlands and formed part of activities to mark the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week 2022, which will open on Monday and close on Friday.
It is on the theme “Global Action for Local Impact,” which is aimed at coming out with tools to monitor and control desertification and land degradation.
The programme being organised by University of Ghana and University of Energy and National Resources (UNER) in collaboration with the GEO and the Government of Ghana, is being sponsored by the GIZ.
Opening the programme, the Dean of International Relations Office of the UNER, Professor Amos Kabo-Bah, said desertification and land degradation were becoming a problem to Ghana and the global community.
He said productivity of lands in Ghana was declining to due to degradation of the land through illegal mining and urbanisation and haphazard construction of houses.
Prof. Kabo-Bah, who is also the Co-Chair of the GEO LDN Initiative, indicated that one in five hectares of land in the world was degraded and the situation in Ghana was worse.
“Once our population is bound to increase over time, it means that the cost of land and even the productive of the land will become a challenge,” the Dean of International Relations of UNER, stressed.
The Co-Chair of GEO LDN Initiative said the training was to build the capacity of the participants who are policy makers, academics and civil society actors on the LDN and expose them to strategies and measures to enhance food production.
“The training also feeds into a programme UNER will be organising beginning running from January 2023 where experts from Africa will come to the UNER to learn about sustainable land use and management,” he said.
Prof. Kabo-Bah said topics to be treated include tools to access degradation and desertification, strategies of restoring degraded lands and prevent desertification, and policies to combat land degradation and desertification.
The Lead Scientist of the United Nations Conservation to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Dr Barron J. Orr, said the governments across the world on 2017 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted the LDN to control land degradation and desertification.
He said the LDN emphasised the need to halt land degradation and restored the degraded lands and also adopt holistic measures to promote the eco system and biodiversity through sustainable land use and management and good agronomic practices.
Dr Orr said land degradation was spreading desertification, declining productivity of land and creating cracked and barer soil surfaces.
The Lead Scientist for the UNCCD emphasised the need for organic farming to preserve the land and environment to promote food production.
He advised farmers to use fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides in their right quantities and proportions so as to preserve the environment.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE