Let’s strengthen laws against environmental destruction – World Vision Ghana

World Vision Ghana, a Christian relief and advocacy organisation, has underscored the need to strengthen and enforce the legal systems against environmental destruction as part of efforts to sustain the natural resources and the environment.

Mr Francis Gumah, the Northern Regional Operations Manager of World Vision Ghana, said human activities such as illegal mining, felling of trees without replanting and bad farming practices continued to destroy the environment especially across Northern Ghana.

However, there were laws and legal frameworks when enforced by government and the institutions responsible would not only punish perpetrators of environmental destruction to deter others but would enhance environmental sustainability across all levels.

‘The clarion call is on government to ensure that some of the laws that deter people from abusing the land and destroying the environment are enforced,’ he said.

The Northern Regional Operations Manager was speaking to the media on the sidelines of tree planting e
xercise at Bolgatanga to mark this year’s Green Ghana Day on the theme ‘Growing for a greener tomorrow.’

The exercise was organised by World Vision Ghana in collaboration with Vision Fund Ghana and the Akayet Hotel in Bolgatanga to plant trees in and around the hotel.

Mr Gumah noted that environmental sustainability was at the heart of World Vision’s operations and over the years it had worked to restore degraded landscapes and forest reserves while increasing livelihoods of rural communities.

He said the Northern Ghana, particularly Upper East, Upper West, North East and Northern continued to bear the brunt of environmental destruction and urged increasing efforts to inculcate the spirit of restoration to reverse degraded lands.

‘For World Vision, we have implemented Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) to make sure that we allow some of the indigenous tree shrubs to be able to grow on their own because we believe that tree planting alone will not solve the problem.

‘So, we need to encourage peopl
e to imbibe the habit of planting trees, especially at the household level to help restore degraded lands while pruning existing ones to regenerate naturally,’ he added.

Currently, World Vision Ghana with funding from the European Union (EU) is implementing a four-year project dubbed ‘Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) in selected communities in the Kassena-Nankana West District and West Gonja Municipality.

The aim of the project is to support national and local efforts to conserve biodiversity, improve livelihoods of smallholder farmers, build climate resilience and reduce emissions from land use change across Ghana’s high forest, Savannah and transition zones.

Mr Joseph Edwin Yelkabong, the EU LEAN Project Manager, World Vision Ghana, noted that the project through the FMNR approach was helping to conserve biodiversity, restore degraded landscapes and forest reserves, improve agriculture productivity and had provided alternatives livelihoods to smallholder farmers in rural comm
unities.

Under the LEAN project. about 120,000 seedlings had been planted within the last three years in the Savannah landscapes and about 411 hectares of degraded parklands had been restored through the FMNR concept.

‘We have established eight nurseries and for this year, we have raised about 40,000 seedlings and we have supplied to institutions, individuals and schools for free and have built their capacities to ensure survival,’ he said.

On her part, Ms Leticia Bukari, a Staff of the Akayet Hotel, noted that green environment was the hallmark of the hospitality facility as it had planted and nurtured trees and grass around the facility to provide conducive atmosphere for clients.

She commended World Vision Ghana and Vision Fund Ghana for the partnership and stressed that the facility would continue to prioritise environmental sustainability in its operations.

Source: Ghana News Agency