The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Jinapor has said government will inaugurate a National Planning Committee to implement the new flagship programme; the Green Street Project.
The initiative will see the planting of trees in the median avenues of the regional capitals of the country.
He noted that the project which will be chaired by his deputy, Benito Owusu-Bio will also see to the beautification and modernization of all major cities in Ghana including the capital city Accra, Takoradi, Kumasi, Tamale among others.
Speaking at the Minister’s Press Briefing at the Ministry of Information on 20 July, 2022, Jinapor explained that “the strategy and the goal is that we plant trees in the avenues and the medians of the various streets of our country.
He gave examples of countries that have employed similar strategies to beautify their cities saying “Most of the the developed countries have these instituted in their countries; London is an example, Paris is an example and even some African countries like South Africa”
The minister also catalogued a number of interventions in the forestry sector over the last one year, outlining some of them as outright ban on the harvesting, salvaging, trading, exporting, and importing of Rosewood, the development of an ecotourism handbook, the suspension of all reconnaissance, prospecting and/or exploration activities in forest reserves, except in exceptional circumstances.
He also said the Forestry Commission has established a rapid response team, which is working with other security agencies, to ensure strict compliance with these bans, and to clamp down on all illegal logging activities.
He disclosed that Cabinet has, already, granted approval for the conversion of one hundred and 156 timber concessions and permits into Timber Utilisation Contracts (TUCs), for consideration and ratification by Parliament, adding that “by the time we complete this process, we will become the first African country to meet the European Union’s (EU) requirement to trade in legal timber and the second in the World, next to Indonesia, and it will be a major boost to the fight against deforestation and forest degradation”.
Still on the forestry sector Jinapor said preliminary figures of the the 2022 Green Ghana Project, shows that over 25 million seedlings were distributed on the Green Ghana Day and urged all those who planted to nurture the trees to maturity.
On mining, the minister said President Akufo-Addo’s government is investing in value addition to retain the value of the mineral resources in-country, stressing “the real value of our mineral resources lie in value addition”.
He maintained that through a public-private partnership, government has established a four hundred kilogramme (400kg) capacity gold refinery, which is now fully completed and ready to start refining the country’s gold.
He added that the Precious Minerals Marketing Company is engaging stakeholders to create a central market place for gold to boost the local trade in gold.
He was optimistic that this will re -position Ghana as the leading producer of gold in Africa and the sixth in the world.
As a more lasting solution to the pollution of river bodies, Jinapor said the Ministry has procured five patrol boats, which will be used by the security services to patrol and protect Ghana’s rivers. “By next month, these boats will be deployed to Rivers Ankobrah, Prah, Birim and the Black Volta,” he said.
The Minerals Commission is implementing the Minerals and Mining Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2404) to track all earthmoving machines and equipment used in mining operations, to ensure that they are used in accordance with the law.
As part of the 100 mercury-free gold processing equipment, commissioned last year, 300 more of these equipment’s will be procured under the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP), for green and clean mining.
He said the Ministry through the Ghana Boundary Commission has brought some level of regulation and authority over “Dollar Power” a town between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire which is believed to have some gold deposit.
“And in the near future, efforts will be made to institute a well regulated gold mining operations in the area.”