Dr Eric Twum, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute of Green Growth Solutions (IGGS), has appealed to government and the citizens not to politicize the issues of natural resource management and governance.
He explained that the politicization of natural resources management and governance could lead to the country facing harsh socio-economic repercussions.
He said his appeal was due mainly to the fact that resources were necessary for the survival and functioning of all.
Dr Twum said this in Accra when he addressed stakeholders at a Natural Resource conference organized by IGGS, in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung on Thursday.
The day’s conference, which was on the theme “Natural Resource Governance and Management in Ghana: The Stride Towards Efficient Use of our Natural Resources” brought participants from the land, minerals, water and environment sectors across the globe to deliberate on the pragmatic and transparent measures that would be involved in the leasing of contracts as well as the management of natural resources sustainability.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Dr Twum stated that the conference was timely, especially when it provided an opportunity for stakeholders in the sector to deliberate on the implementation of new policies for the sector.
“We also see this as a stepping ground for our Parliamentarians to take up the discussion and solve issues in the mining sector for better natural resource goals to be met,” he said.
He also observed that issues about natural resources and their management were critical as they did not bother only on the very survival of mankind, but also had economic and developmental ramifications for nations endowed with natural resources with Ghana being one of such.
“The synergy between Ghana’s resource availability, management and associated resource use benefits, has over the years and in most cases not been fully met,” he said.
“It is surprising in this modern day and age to wake up to very heartbreaking media reportage on poor natural resource exploitation and management in this country despite the numerous implemented policies and laws put in place to prevent this,” Dr Twum said.
The CEO added that economically, research had indicated that between 2011 and 2012, the country lost about 90 million dollars and 70 million dollars million due to stability agreements in the mining and oil and gas sectors respectively.
He therefore called for a collaborative effort on the part of all stakeholders to safeguard the country’s natural resources through effective and comprehensive policies.
Dr Toni Aubynn, the Chief Executive Officer, Minerals Commission hailed the organizers for the conference in their bid to fix the loop holes in the mining sector as well as avoid further problems that would not only affect the sector but the country at large.
He noted that Ghana could benefit extensively from her natural resources and called for the review of laws and other practices on the small scale mining especially when there is a legal framework for small scale mining.
Dr Aubynn also called for the creation of partnership that would be beneficial to the sector.
Mr Zhou Youbin, the Charge D’Affairs, Chinese Embassy, called on government to streamline measures that would boost the activities of small scale mining in the country.
Citing the acquisition of land as a leading problem in the sector, Mr Youbin pledged China’s commitments towards the transformation agenda of Ghana in the land and natural resource area.
Participants lauded the organizers and called for more of such conferences to help position Ghana’s mining sector on a high pedestal.