Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, a Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, has appealed to researchers to do a lot more on forest conservation.
He also tasked all agencies in the forestry sector to address issues concerning policy, accountability and monitoring of systems to stem environmental degradation and protect the country’s forests.
“This will help minimise environmental impacts associated with mining and mineral exploitation and by effectively integrating the mining sector more efficiently into the economy.”
Dr Tia made the appeal in an interview with Ghana News Agency after addressing the first ever National Forestry conference on the theme: “The Contribution of forests to Ghana’s economic Development.”
The national conference which was in commemoration of 100 years of forestry practice and 50 years of forestry research in Ghana was jointly organised by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR)Forestry Commission, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology and Trpenbos International, Ghana.
The Deputy Minister said in view of the fact that a significant proportion of Ghana’s population depend on forests, there is the need for the adoption of measures that would stem over exploitation of the natural resources and ensure sustainable support and livelihood for 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 per cent per year.”
Dr Tia challenged the CSIR and Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and other scientific bodies to carry out research programmes that have direct impact on economic development and to help prevent depletion and degradation of natural resources.
He said in response to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ghana has prepared 55 Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions, which have been mainstream into the National Development Policy framework.
The Deputy Minister mentioned Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda and the respective medium-term development plans of Ministries, Departments and Agencies as those making use of the framework.
He appealed to stakeholders to discuss how Ghana could manage the environmental and social impacts of oil and gas industry and other associated developments, and how to operationalise the new climate change policy.