Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources has implored Traditional Authorities to support the government to protect the nation’s forest from wanton depletion, and preserve the reserves for the unborn generation.
He said the government recognised the chieftaincy institution as a key development partner, saying the institution’s support was required urgently to restore the rapid and extensive destruction of the nation’s forest cover.
Mr. Jinapor, also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Damango, made the appeal when he interacted with the Bono Regional House of Chiefs (BRHCs) in Sunyani on Monday, as part of his day’s working visit to the region.
He indicated that the Bono Region had the highest forest reserves in the country, and his Ministry could not succeed in preserving the forest resources without the support of the chiefs and queens in the region.
As the embodiment of the people, Mr. Jinapor assured the government would continue to make regular engagements with traditional authorities in the nation’s development processes.
He therefore pleaded with the chiefs to collaborate with the Bono Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to take pragmatic steps to protect the region’s forest reserves.
Mr. Jinapor reminded the chiefs of the passage of the Lands Act 1036, 2020, which would help control the indiscriminate sales of lands and bring sanity into land administration in the country.
He said the Lands Commission had been tasked to intensify nationwide public sensitization on the Act and advised the chiefs to get themselves abreast with the Act for their own good.
Mr. Jinapor extended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s appreciation to the traditional authorities in the region for their support to his government, and expressed the hope the chiefs would collaborate with the government to facilitate the development of the region.
Earlier in a welcoming address, Okokyeredom Sakyi Ako II, the Paramount Chief of Drobo Traditional Area and Vice President of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs, said it was necessary for the nation to protect her forest resources as a climate change mitigation action.
He said the impact of climate change was well felt in parts of the country, saying if the nation failed to tackle the menace in a more proactive way, the country could possibly experience famine in the years to come.
Okokyeredom Ako II indicated the House was developing a proposal to go into massive tree plantation along major river courses in the region in 2022.
Reacting, Mr. Jinapor described the initiative as laudable and promised the ministry would support the house with the required funding and logistics.
The Minister later interacted with agencies under the sector and commended them for their dedicated and selfless services, saying the Ministry depended on them to preserving forest reserves in the region.