An Environmental Management Committee has been inaugurated at the Mion District Assembly of the Northern Region to implement and enforce the Assembly’s by-laws to help protect the environment.
The Environmental Management Committee is also to provide guidance for the development and promotion of sustainable environmental management initiatives in the district.
The Committee is composed of representatives of key decentralised departments, agencies and stakeholders with vested interest in environmental and natural resource management.
They included; the District Coordinating Director as the Chairman, District Environmental Health and Sanitation Officer, District Planning Officer, District Information Officer, District Director of Agriculture, the Presiding Member, Agricultural sub-committee Chairman, and a representative from the Traditional Authorities.
The rest were a representative from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), an international non-governmental organisation, and officers from the Forestry Commission, Ghana National Fire Service, Environmental Protect Agency and the National Disaster Management Organisation.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, who inaugurated the Committee at Mion, called on all stakeholders in the area to do whatever they could to protect the environment by halting all acts that degraded the environment.
The inauguration of the Committee formed part of the Re-greening Africa Project being implemented by CRS and partners in the Mion, Garu/Tempani and Bawku West Assemblies to improve livelihood, food security and resilience to climate change by smallholder farmers, and restore ecosystem services particularly through evergreen agriculture.
During the launch of the Re-greening Africa Project at the Mion District in 2018, there was a unanimous acknowledgement of a stressed ecosystem- suffering exploitation and needing urgent restoration, hence the inauguration of the Environmental Management Committee in the district to reverse the situation.
In line with this, the Assembly had gazetted its by-laws on environmental protection, which stipulated severe sanctions against indiscriminate felling of trees or felling trees without permission amongst other acts that degraded the environment.
Alhaji Saibu called on chiefs and opinion leaders in the area to lead the way in fighting environmental degradation, warning that “The by-laws shall be enforced and we shall deal ruthlessly with any offenders.”
Mr Mohammed Hashim, District Chief Executive of Mion said the inauguration of the Committee was historic as its interventions would benefit generations yet unborn.
He pledged the commitment of the Assembly to safeguard the environment in the area to protect lives and livelihood of the people.
Mr Daniel Mumuni, Country Representative of CRS said “After three years of successfully implementing the Re-greening Africa project, CRS and partners have facilitated the establishment of over 40 Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration hubs, 20 community tree nurseries, and over 20 Bushfire Volunteer Groups across the length and breadth of this district.”
Mr Mumuni added that “Various stakeholder interactions have also bolstered the awareness and capacity of actors including; farmers on the state of our environment and the need to protect it through the adaption of restoration initiatives.”
Mr Musah Issaka, Chairman of the Committee, whose speech was read on his behalf, gave assurance that the Committee was up to the task to safeguard the environment.