Minister urges Upper East Chiefs to support government to fight depletion of rosewood

Bolgatanga, Oct. 8, GNA- The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, has called for the support of the Upper East Region House of Chiefs to enforce the ban on harvesting, trading, exporting and importing of rosewood.

He said there was the need for cooperation from the Chiefs for government to enforce the ban and the measures to preserve the ecosystem of the Upper East Region

Mr Jinapor said the ban on activities of rosewood, which was a major wood in the Northern sector, was one of the measures put in place by government to curtail the issue of deforestation.

“We have done so because the exploitation and harvesting of rosewood is unsustainable, and if we continue in that manner, it would impact on the climate and the situation where rainfall patterns are irregular these days and therefore affect Agriculture production,” he said.

He said desertification was creeping into the country and called on them to cooperate with the Regional Security Council and his Ministry to put in place, and enforce measures to curtail the problem.

The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Damango Constituency made the call when he addressed the Upper East Region House of Chiefs in Bolgatanga as part of his day’s working visit to the Region.

He said government’s policy was to ensure that all households were given Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders, “So that all households can have gas to cook. But in the mean time where there are no cylinders for everybody, the small wood that our mothers collect to cook is not really the big issue.

“The big issue is the foreigners who come into our jurisdiction with chainsaws and within a week, hectares of lands are levelled, degraded and the wood harvested and exported out of our country, and even our own indigenes don’t benefit,” he noted.

He also called for cooperation and working relations between the Chiefs and government to find amicable solutions to the situation of elephant invasion in some parts of the Region which destroys farm lands and other property.

He said the Forestry Commission through the Wildlife division was putting in place measures which would be interrogated by the Regional Minister and brought to the attention of the Chiefs for the sensitization of communities about how they could co-exist with the elephants.

On the land tenure system in the Region, Mr Jinapor said the land tenure system continued to be a problem and said since he and his entourage embarked on the tour of the Regions of the North, they discovered some complicated land tenure issues.

He said the Ministry would examine the issues and find solutions to address them and appealed to the Chiefs to cooperate with the Lands Commission which was responsible for the planning of communities.

“So that the planning of the Upper East Region would be done in a systematic, well planned fashion to make our communities decent. The Upper East is becoming a very important destination for commerce.

“Burkinabes, Nigeriens, Malians come here to conduct business, so it is imperative that places like Bolgatanga, Navrongo, Bawku, Paga and several other places in the Upper East Region are planned properly and become the centre of interactions for all of these countries,” he said.

The Vice President of the House of Chiefs, Naba Anthony Abisa Atasige III, assured the Chiefs and people of the Region of their unflinching support to ensure sanity in the Sector to make Ghana a better place for the citizenry.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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