Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, a Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), has tasked the agencies in the forestry sector to address issues concerning policy, accountability and monitoring of systems to stem environmental degradation.
The Deputy Minister said as a significant proportion of Ghana’s population depended on forests, there was the need to adopt all kinds of measures that would stem over exploitation and ensure sustainable support and the livelihoods of more people.
“It is worth noting that Ghana’s forestry, wildlife and mining sectors account for significant proportion of our Gross Domestic Product?.These sectors have played important roles in Ghana’s recent, impressive growth rates of approximately six percent per year, ?he said.
Dr Tia gave these suggestions in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after addressing the first National Forestry Conference on the theme: “The Contribution of Forests to Ghana’s Economic Development.”
The national conference, which is in commemoration of 100 years of Forestry Practice and 50 Years of Forestry Research in Ghana.
It was jointly organised by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Forestry Commission, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology and Trpenbos International, Ghana.
Dr Tia asked the authorities responsible for mining to address issues related to the environmental impacts of mining and mineral exploitation and by effectively integrating the mining sector more efficiently into the economy.
He challenged the CSIR , the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, and other scientific bodies, to carry out research programmes that had direct impact on economic development, and to help prevent depletion and degradation of natural resources.
He said in response to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ghana had prepared 55 Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, which had been mainstreamed into the national development policy framework.
The Deputy Minister said the Ministries, Departments and Agencies were making use of the framework.
He appealed to the stakeholders to discuss how Ghana could manage the environmental and social impacts of oil and gas industry and other associated developments, as well as how to operationalise the new Climate Change policy.