By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA
Accra, June 19, GNA – The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) has lauded efforts by NGOs in forest and natural resources management for their continued support to the government in the fight against illegal mining in the country.
Naana Eyiah Quansah, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, says efforts by non-state actors to support the government to design and implement effective and sustainable strategies to address the illegal mining (galamsey) menace and restore the country’s forest and natural resources was highly commendable.
Naana Quansah was speaking at a multi-stakeholder dialogue on illegal mining and sustainable natural resources management at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu Municipality.
It was organized by Tropenbos Ghana under the “Securing Food and Ecosystem Services in Mining Plague regions in Ghana” project, which is being implemented with financial support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
The Deputy Minister said illegal mining had become a serious threat to resources management in Ghana and it required immediate and effective intervention by both the state and non-state actors to address this menace.
“Therefore initiative by any group like Tropenbos Ghana, to address the illegal mining issues, especially, those that promote the sustainability of our natural resources and environment was highly supported by the government,” she stated.
Naana Quansah pointed out that illegal mining activities were known to adversely affect food security and biodiversity conservation in many mining communities.
It deprived local communities of livelihood assets – fertile land, non-timber forest products – and other ecosystem services, including soil and water, she added.
There was therefore the need to halt activities of illegal mining and introduce more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices that improved livelihoods in mining communities.
The Deputy Minister said government through the MLNR had developed the Multi-Sectorial Mining Integrated Project (MMIP) to help curb the illegal mining menace in Ghana.
The MMIP is a five-year project that presented an integrated approach in dealing with illegal mining.
It also presented a comprehensive framework for collaboration with key stakeholders in tackling the menace.
Naana Quansah encouraged Tropenbos Ghana to work closely with the MMIP, share ideas, and also try to avoid duplication of efforts where necessary.
Dr Peggy Somuah, the Project Coordinator for Tropenbos Ghana, said the Organization would continue to work closely with stakeholders and help in reclaiming lands that could be used for other economic activities.
She said the four-year project was being implemented in Asante Akim Central Municipality, Abuakwa South Municipality, Amansie West and Prestea-Huni Valley Districts.