Various activities come together to degrade the environment. Even population growth comes to degrade the environment because it calls for the clearing of land for settlements.
Such activities, even when regulated, still become problematic at certain points but the situation worsens once it borders on man’s unbridled desire to exploit the environment for gains.
Since the advent of civilization men have continued to exploit natural resources to meet their insatiable desires and usually, those leading the exploitation least care about the safety of both the environment and the people their activities affect.
One of such unbridled activities is commercial charcoal burning, which starts with felling of certain tree species to the hurt of the environment and people close by.
It is, therefore, commendable that the Savannah Regional House of Chiefs has banned commercial charcoal burning, fuel wood harvesting and rosewood activities in the region.
The president of the House, Yogbonwura Tuntumba Boresa II, explained that the move was to curb the gradual depletion of the region’s forest cover and degradation of the environment.
This is a very good move because even though the natural resources are for our use, unregulated and or over-exploitation goes to undermine the very survival of man.
The action by the chiefs undoubtedly falls in line with efforts by the government to save the environment.
Besides, it indirectly tells everyone that chiefs can help the government to perform better in areas that are difficult to control by the government alone.
The government should, therefore, consider restoring some of the authority of the traditional rulers which colonialism and so-called modern governance have usurped from our chiefs.
The Ghanaian Times is not calling for absolute freedom for chiefs to do their own thing but lawful authority that can be used to complement state efforts in all sectors of our economy.
This is because the chiefs and their people are closer to the points of environmental degradation and even crime than public officials, including even security personnel, who are mandated to check unwarranted activities.
It is also worthy of note that besides their banning move, the chiefs have asked the government to intensify the implementation of programmes and initiatives that protected and sustainably managed the country’s forest and water bodies.
The chiefs’ request to the government also demonstrate support for workable state strategies that would bring improvement in the lives of the people.
This paper expects commendation from officialdom for the chiefs’ action to tell the public that the chiefs are supported in their actions targeted at the common good.
That way those who think they can challenge the authority of the chiefs in everything would be cautious.
Consequently, chiefs who thought their authority had been depleted and so would not bother themselves can now take active role in community and national development.