The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) is set to hold the National Land Conference 2022, to create a common platform for state and non-state actors to dialogue on effective ways of transforming the country’s land sector.
The conference, slated for Tuesday December 6 to Friday, December 2022, would build on the efforts of government and development partners to reform the land sector.
The conference on the theme: “Leveraging National Land Policy, Legislation and Institutional Capacity Towards Sustainable Socio-Economic Development”, would also institutionalise a structured arrangement for multi-stakeholder participation in land administration.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, the Technical Director, Lands at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Maxwell Adu Nsafoah, said president Nana Akufo-Addo would grace the occasion.
He said successive governments had sought to improve the country’s land administration regime through the introduction of various initiatives.
“The major interventions in land administration have been through the Land Administration Project (LAP) – phases 1 and 2, which sought to lay the foundation and consolidate urban and rural land administration and management systems for efficient and transparent land service delivery”, he explained.
He also acknowledged the contribution of non-state actors in complementing the government’s efforts of addressing the challenges in the country’s land administration.
Mr Nsafoah cited projects implemented by Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) such as Solidaridad, GIZ, USAID, Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), and COLANDEF, which had yielded some positive results and had contributed to improvements in the land sector.
Such results she identified included the development of a Handbook for Customary Land Rights Documentation, piloting of customary land rights documentation, organization of an Africa Regional Consultative Workshop on Securing Land Tenure in Africa, and Analysis of the Social Inclusion Dimensions of Large Scale Land Acquisition, among many others.
He, however, observed some challenges in the land sector to include: weak land administration and management systems, multiple land sales, and compulsory acquisition by the government of large tracts of land unutilized and compensation unpaid, among others, which needed concerted efforts to be addressed.
“The management of other natural resources including timber, minerals, and water add to the challenges of securing land rights for sustainable socio-economic development”, he added.
Mr Nsafoah therefore, stressed the need for a more inclusive, strategic, and sustained multi-stakeholder approach to improve the administration of land and other natural resources as well as to restore many of the degraded lands in the country.
He explained that the success of the conference would also help advance the attainment of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including goal 15, which sought to “Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable forest management, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.”
He said the conference would also provide opportunity for the stakeholders to discuss and adopt innovative approaches and enabling technologies for improving land governance and land administration in the country.
He said it would also help increase public awareness and the potential benefits of the Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) and the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925).