Environmentalists seek ways of preventing desertification
Stakeholders in the environmental sector on Thursday deliberated at a forum on issues which are at the root of sustainable development of people living in fragile ecosystem, plagued by the threat of desertification.
The participants described ways in which the threat of desertification and effects of drought in places like the Upper West Region could be reversed to promote socioeconomic development.
The forum was part of activities organised to mark this year’s World Desertification Day, which is under the theme “Forest, Keep Dry Lands Working”.
They also discussed among others, the role of forest in sustainable ecosystems, functions in dry lands and contribution of vegetative cover to soil and water conservation in the interior Savannah zone of Ghana.
There were also presentation on community based-initiatives for national forest regeneration, land management, and gender and sustainable livelihood intervention.
The stakeholders are expected to issue a communiqué to draw government attention to the challenges and the way forward.
Alhaji Issaku Salia, Upper West Regional Minister, said that the search for sustainable solutions to the threat of desertification in the region should be a source of great concern to everyone.
He noted that persistent bushfires, unsustainable farming practises, indiscriminate fuel and wood harvesting, and over grazing among others were contributing towards degradation of the Savannah ecosystem and eroding the natural resource of socioeconomic development in the Region.
Mr Daniel Amlalo, Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency called for the adoption at both community and districts levels, policies and actions that would ensure sustainable environmentally compatible development.
Desertification, he stated, should be treated as an issue of national priority along with poverty alleviation and climate change, which has gained significant currency in recent times.
Intervention targeted at reversal of desertification should be holistic and implemented using an integrated approach embracing issues of biodiversity, ecosystem services and climate change.
Ms Loree Samluk, a representative of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), said Canada was spending eight million Canadian dollars on the National Action Plan (NAP) on the environment.