The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has assured Members of Parliament that Government has put in place effective measures to ensure systematic and sustainable development of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in the country.
According to the Minister, since assuming office in 2017, the Government of President Akufo-Addo has taken several measures to clean up the sector, adding that one of such measures was the introduction of the Multi-Sectoral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP).
Hon. Jinapor who is also the MP for Damongo, made these known when he was questioned on the impact of the newly launched Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP) on the country’s degraded lands and its objective for the small scale mining sector.
The Minister informed the House that the GLRSSMP is an activity under the NMIP with an overall objective to strengthen integrated natural resource management and increase benefits to communities in the targeted areas.
He explained that the Project targets two landscapes: the Northern Savannah Landscape (including the Guinea Savannah ecological zone, the Sudan Savannah ecological zone, and the upper portions of the Transitional ecological zone) and the Cocoa Forest Landscape (including parts of the Forest ecological zone and the Pra River Basin).
It will build on the successes of previous and ongoing programmes, such as the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project(SLWMP), the Forest Investment Program (FIP), the Youth in Afforestation Programme (YAP) and the Green Ghana Project, all aimed at among others, restoring degraded landscape and sustainably managing the natural resources.
Hon. Jinapor intimidated that following Cabinet and Parliament approval, the project was duly launched virtually on 15th February 2022.
He said the project will capitalize on land-use planning for integrated landscape management to optimize the land use, formalize Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) for sustainable mining, restore degraded lands, promote sustainable management of forest landscapes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services.
In addition, he indicated that the project will help develop healthy ecosystems which play an important role in mitigation, adaptation, and resilience in the face of climate change, stressing that this will positively affect the cocoa industry and increase its impact on the country’s GDP.
Commenting on how it will create jobs for the youth, the Sector Minister revealed that the project will empower women and the youth to pick up roles in local-level forest and landscape management activities and create better income-generating opportunities.
He said over two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) people including the youth, women, farmers, and artisanal miners will benefit from the project.
The Minister listed the project’s core intervention focus as Land-use planning for integrated landscape management to optimize land use, formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) for sustainable mining, Restoration of degraded lands for agricultural productivity, and strengthening of sustainable management of forest landscapes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services.
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