The vice-president calls for enhanced national dialogue on the sustainable exploitation of Ghana’s minerals, forest and wildlife resources
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said the government will continue to ensure good governance in the exploitation of Ghana’s forest and mineral resources without fear or favour.
Dr Bawumia said issues relating to the exploitation of Ghana’s natural resources are part of “our national life, which must be insulated from partisan politics.”
Speaking at the second regional consultative dialogue on small scale mining and deforestation in Tamale, he further called for candid deliberations in the consultative dialogues devoid of parochial interest to help build national consensus to stem illegal mining and deforestation.
On his part, the Paramount Chief of Kumbugu Traditional Area, Alhaji Iddrisu Abu, who represented the Ya Naa, described the theme for the dialogue as appropriate and called for strict enforcement of the emergency interventions by government including the deployment of the military to safeguard the forest reserves and water bodies.
The theme for the dialogue was: “Sustainable mining and forest conservation for national development”
Abuse of economic trees
He also bemoaned the dangerous habit of cutting down trees for charcoal particularly economic trees such as shea, dawadawa and rosewood.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, reiterated the government’s policy on small scale mining, which is to build a responsible, viable and sustainable small-scale mining industry which rejects practices that compromise the environment.
He announced that the government is formulating a comprehensive Alternative Employment and Livelihood programme for illegal miners affected by current cleanup in the sector.
On forestry, he reiterated the directive on the ban on rosewood exportation whether legally acquired or otherwise.
The government, he said, has also secured funding to implement the Ghana Shea Landscape Emission Reduction Production (GSLERP).
The project, he stated, will among others, address the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and promote the cultivation of shea.
The Minister also expressed the hope that the Dialogue will help develop concrete measures to safeguard the environment for posterity.
The Tamale Dialogue brought together participants from other neighbouring regions including North East, Savannah, Upper East and West.