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Regional News Thu, 24 May 2012

Government officials, journalists to be schooled on green economy

Government officials, Civil Society Groups and journalists would on June 5, embark on a field trip to Yaoman, a community in Ga West Municipality to learn best practices on green economy from local farmers.

The trip, which is being organised by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF/SGP) in collaboration with Integrated Development in Focus (DIF, editor correct), a local NGO as part of activities to mark the World Environment Day, is to appreciate the contributions of chiefs and the residents in the community towards the restoration of degraded lands in the area.

This was contained in a release copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday.

The World Environment Day is an annual event celebrated globally to elicit positive environmental action. Activities marking the day takes place all year round but climaxed on June 5, every year.

World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become one of the main vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.

The release described Ga West Municipality as having undergone the worst form of land degradation in recent times due to sand winning and excessive wood fuel harvesting.

It said several hectares of arable lands had been degraded with severe deep sand pits, trenches that served as sources of breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

“Apart from sand winning in the area, harvesting of trees for firewood and charcoal burning are the main business in the area, especially for the women in Meyikpor and Sogrunu-Korpe communities,” it said.

The release said DIF had been supported by GEF/SGP to undertake degradation land restoration and livelihood intervention activities in six deprived, poor and vulnerable communities in the Ga West, namely, Akramaman, Yaoman, Okushiebiade, Meyikpor and Sogrunu-Korpe.

It said more than five hectares of the degraded land had been rehabilitated and placed under sustainable land management and 42 women farmers had been trained in the cultivation of tradable agricultural products, woodlot plantation and agro-forestry.

The release said the project had constructed a demonstration and learning centre at Yaoman, adding that more than 36 women had been trained in small ruminants rearing including rabbits rearing, goat and sheep and grasscutter.

It added that a revolving credit scheme had been set up for women farmers to access for business expansion.**

Source: GNA