The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor together with the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany H.E Daniel Krull, has handed over several equipment to Community Fire Volunteers in six Communities in the Savanna Region.
The event which came off at Achubunyor in the West Gonja District of the Savanna Region, also saw community members, Officers of the District Assembly, the Forestry Commission in the Region, Technical Directors from the Ministry of Lands, representatives of the implementation organisations and the leadership of the Busunu Traditional Area attending.
The presentation of equipment and empowerment of the Fire Volunteer Groups in the six communities form part of the four-year project “Forest Landscape Restoration through a Sustainable Wood Energy Value Chain” funded by the German Federal Ministry for Environment (BMU) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and in partnership with the Government of Ghana. Each community received sets of the following equipment: wellington boots, tricycles, fire beaters, uniforms, bamboo bicycles, whistles, just to mention a few with an overall value of around GHS 450,000.
The project which was launched in early 2019 aims at contributing to the implementation of Ghana’s National Climate Policy. Already the project has resulted in the establishment of 150 hectares of woodlot plantation in the Savanna Region while 500 hectares of land has been put under an on-going restoration intervention, with 150 farmers benefiting through agro-forestry schemes. Additionally, the project has also undertaken similar activities in the Kintampo and Atebubu areas with 200 hectares of land undergoing restoration and 150 hectares of land planted as woodlots to provide feed stock for charcoal production. More than 700,000 seedlings have been planted in the last months and more than 2000 persons, mainly women, have been engaged.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, emphasized the importance of restoring Ghana’s forest ecosystems, particularly the lost vegetation of Savanna Region, stressing that, it is key for survival and for climate resilience in the face of increasing temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns.
He reiterated the commitment of government of Ghana through several initiatives like the Green Ghana, CREMAs and clamp down on illegal mining as just a few of the numerous policies being implemented to address deforestation and forest degradation.
He further reiterated the commitment of the government to partner with like-minded development partners like the German Government and other diplomatic missions, the private sector, NGOs, Youth and Women’s groups to build and restore the lost green heritage of Ghana.
Mr Jinapor charged the volunteers and the communities, which also happen to be in his constituency to work hard to reduce the risk of bush fires and make these investments benefit their environment for guarantee sustainable livelihoods for all.
The German Ambassador, H.E Daniel Krull on his part, highlighted the good cooperation between Ghana and Germany and the joint target to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation as well as to support the approach of Forest and Landscape Restoration “FLR” as part of the Bonn Challenge where Ghana committed to restore 2 Million hectares until 2030.
National Deputy Director of A Rocha Ghana, Daryl Bosu expressed his excitement over the project for what he described as a concerted efforts by all in the landscape to help restore the gradually eroding vegetation of the Savanna Region due to unsustainable charcoal production and illegal logging.
“The presence of all of you here today is a testimony that given the necessary knowledge and resources, we can do great things. We are grateful for the commitment we have seen from the Ministry of Lands under the leadership of Hon Abu Jinapor, to spearhead a Green Ghana agenda. This means we must all do our part”, he said.
He called for the urgent need to address illegal activities eroding efforts by government, International Development Agencies, NGOs and Private Sector towards securing our environment, adding, “the benefit of a well-protected and managed environment comes to the people in the landscape first before anyone one else, so we have first responsibility”.
Mr Bosu urged all to work together to be able to reap the benefits of the project.
About the project
The Sustainable Wood Fuel and Forest Landscape Restoration Project is in partnership with Ghana’s Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Energy, and other partner institutions in Ghana is currently training 170 Fire Volunteers in 12 Communities with support of the Ghana National Fire Service, the Forest Research Institute (FORIG) and KNUST.
Institutions supporting the implementation of this program are A Rocha Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Netherlands Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.