The Savannah Regional House of Chiefs has banned commercial charcoal burning, fuel-wood and rosewood harvesting activities in the region.
The move, according to the president of the House, Yogbonwura Tuntumba Boresa II, was to curb the gradual depletion of the region’s forest cover.
He further asked the government to intensify the implementation of programmes and initiatives that protect and sustainably managed the country’s forests and water bodies.
Yogbonwura Boresa, who is also the Overlord of the Gonja Traditional Area, said due to the risks of the adverse effects of climate change and practices that depleted the environment, the situation needed to be curtailed urgently.
The chief was speaking at Damongo, the regional capital, on Saturday when the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, paid a courtesy call on the House.
The call formed part of the Minister’s tour of the region to solicit the support of traditional leaders in dealing with issues affecting progress in the land sector.
The Yogbonwura indicated that the House was ready to throw its weight behind the government in clamping down on deforestation and illegal mining.
“We have to fight the illegalities that continue to destroy our resources. The forest and water bodies are all under threat due to the actions of some few unscrupulous persons.
“The effects of our actions will not only be problematic to us but also to future generations. It is not right. The House is in support of any initiative that will help in the restoration of our natural resources,” the Yogbonwura stated.
Describing the Greening Ghana project as a laudable initiative, the traditional ruler said activities or initiatives under the project should be done regularly and properly managed to help in the conservation of the general environment.
“Such initiatives are critical in tackling deforestation and other activities that deplete the forest cover of the country. The Greening Ghana project was timely and would help to augment the restoration of Ghana’s forest cover,” he added.
The Vice President of the House, who is the Chief of the Buipe Traditional Area, Buipewura, Mahama Abdulai Jinapor II, lauded the Minister for leading the charge against illegalities in the sector, saying “we are confident the Savannah Region will see a difference within the next four years.”
Mr Jinapor, for his part, called on the chiefs to support the Ministry in its operations to promote the sustainability of the environment.
With southern Ghana facing polluted water bodies and deforestation due to illegal mining, he said it was appropriate that the chiefs worked with the appropriate authorities to clamp down on illegalities to protect resources in the region.
He said the government would soon roll out alternative livelihood programmes in the region to create employment and stop the youth from engaging in illegal mining and deforestation.
The Minister applauded the chiefs for their efforts, which had resulted in the total ban of all forms of harvesting of wood species in the region.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, DAMONGO
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