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Government totally resolves to protect the country's forest reserves - Lands Minister

Samuel Abu Jinapor Lands Minister11212 Samuel A. Jinapor

Tue, 16 Nov 2021 Source: ghanaguardian.com

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor says the government has resolved to holistically protect the forest reserves of the country.

He said the government will soon come up with plans and strategies to ensure that all the forest reserves in the country, particularly those in the Bono Region are protected.

He said this during a media briefing after his meeting with the Bono Regional Security Council (REGSEC) on Monday, 15th November, 2021 in Sunyani.

As part of this resolve the Minister disclosed that the government has received numerous reports on charcoal harvesting and exploitation saying that if these are investigated and found to be true, a total ban will be placed on the commodity.

Hon. Jinapor said he has been made aware of the huge demand for charcoal for the production of toothpaste and other related products which has instigated it being a major driver of deforestation and forest degradation.

He said already government has taken a bold step to declare river bodies and forest reserves as "no-go" areas for mining as it enhances its resolve to ending galamsey.

The Hon. Minister described the meeting with REGSEC as the main reason of his national tour which has seen him visit 12 regions of the country so far, reiterating the fact that the government has made them arrowheads on the fight against illegal mining and deforestation.

He said he will also take up the concern on the establishment of a forestry school.

"I will take up the forestry school big time. Because we need to have a specialised and dedicated school for forestry in the Region."

Touching on the mining sector, the Minister charged REGSEC to work together with the Minerals Commission to do an audit of all concessions ensuring that the companies pay their due dividends to the government, embark on their Corporate Social Responsibility and pay royalties to the traditional authorities.

He also tasked the REGSEC to flash out all illegal mining activities on water bodies saying "Mining cannot take place in any water bodies in the country, these are red zone. You have my blessing to put together a task force in this regard"

The Bono Regional Minister, Hon. Justina Owusu Banahene on her part called for the support of the Hon. Minister to help collaborate with Nananom to embark on developmental projects among which she said a forestry school will be of immense benefit to the Region and the Nation as a whole.

She called for the enforcement of the New Land Act, Act 1036 (Land Act, 2020) for proper regulation and protection of public lands among others.

The other members of REGSEC also pledged their commitment to helping the government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to curb deforestation and illegal mining in the country.

Source: ghanaguardian.com