Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has bemoaned the activities of illegal mining and logging which he said “have dire consequences on climate change and its advent impact on our livelihoods and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
“Ghana has beautiful and majestic rivers and streams, unfortunately, there is not much to celebrate about our water bodies and wildlife habitats because of unacceptable mining and logging practices and other drivers of deforestation” he added.
The Vice President indicated that the North is particularly challenged with forest degradation as a result of the overexploitation of trees, especially rosewood, for its excessive reliance for fuel wood and charcoal production.
Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia made the remarks when he opened a regional consultative dialogue on small-scale mining and deforestation in Tamale, on the theme “Sustainable Small-Scale Mining and Forest Conservation for National Development”.
The Vice President also stressed that “sustainability is key in our quest to exploit our diverse minerals, forest and wild life resources to ensure that we are able to meet our present needs without compromising the ability of our future generations to meet their own needs”.
The Tamale consultative dialogue is the second in the series of several dialogues aimed at collating ideas for a national policy to deal with the menace of illegal mining and illegal logging activities in the country.
The Overlord of Dagbon His Majesty Ya Na Abukari ll in a speech read on his behalf by Naa-Yab Kumbun-Naa Yiri ll lamented that, dangerous habits of cutting trees for charcoal, especially economic trees like shea, dawadawa and rosewood is not only undermining the economy of Ghana but also exposing Northern Ghana to the dangers of high temperatures and decreased rainfall patterns.
“This would eventually usher in desertification into our ecological zone where climate-change is now a reality and right on our door-steps and therefore these dangerous practices must stop” the Ya-Na added.
Ndan Ya-Na Abukar ll also urged chiefs within Northern Ghana to discourage people within their traditional jurisdictions from the wanton cutting of trees for charcoal and degrading the lands for illegal mining activities.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister and MP for Damongo Samuel Abu Jinapor indicated that the government is embarking several interventions in tackling the menace of illegal mining and logging activities across the country.
He announced that the government through his ministry is formulating a comprehensive alternative employment and livelihood scheme for small scale miners as part of efforts to clean up the mining sector.
Story By: Edward A. Ken-zorre