Press Release

Government marks rivers and forest reserves as “Red Zones” for mining

By News, Press Release

Government has marked river bodies and forest reserves as “no go areas” for mining as it enhanced its resolve to ending galamsey.

Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, reaffirmed government’s determination to end illegal mining, during a meeting with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives(MMDCEs) in Takoradi.

“We’re at crossroads in our fight against galamsey and so government has put in place interventions to sanitize the small-scale mining sector.

“Therefore, the MMDCEs are the heartbeat and fulcrum around which law enforcement can thrive in our fight against galamsey,” Mr Jinapor told MMDCEs from mining districts in the Western Region.

The Minister stated that the Regional and District Security Councils had been mandated to spearhead the fight against illegal mining at the communities and, therefore, the Regional Ministers and MMDCEs who chair the Councils should work in harmony with the security agencies and stakeholders in the mining communities to end the galamsey menace.

“You should make sure no mining activities take place 100 metres to water bodies.

“No fresh mining permit will be issued and so you’ll not accept new forest entry permits from anyone.

“And so make sure no NPP man or NDC man or anyone enters a forest reserve or river body to mine, no person is above the law,” Mr Jinapor cautioned.

The Minister said from Friday, April 30, all mining equipment operating in forest reserves should be evacuated from the site and thus, tasked the MMDCEs to enforce the directives to the letter.

That directive is in reference to the “no more mining reconnaissance and/ or prospecting licence will be issued by the Minerals Commission until further notice.

“This is no “big men” when it comes to enforcement of mining regulations. It’s a national undertaking,” he added.

The Minister admitted that illegal mining small-scale, otherwise known as ‘galamsey’ is endemic in Ghana and it will take a while to eradicate it completely, therefore MMDCEs had critical roles to play in that regard.

The Minister is on a two-day working tour of the Region to have first- hand information on challenges in the small-scale mining sector.

The Minister also held a closed-door meeting with members of the Regional Security Council to find ways of enforcing the mining laws and regulations.

He also paid a courtesy call on Omanhene of Essikadu Traditional Area Nana Kobina Nketsia V.


Earth Day 2021 – US Ambassador supports Otumfuo to protect Lake Bosomtwe

By Press Release, Support, Tree Planting

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan, on Thursday joined Asanteman to plant trees along the buffer of Lake Bosomtwe at Ankaase in the Bosomwe District to mark World Earth Day.

The day is observed every year on April 22 to create awareness about pollution and to celebrate the environmental blue planet.

“Restore Our Earth” which is the theme for this year’s celebration, focuses on natural processes and emerging green technologies that can restore the world’s ecosystems.

It is in line with this that the Regional Environment Office of the U.S. Embassy chose to plant 2,000 trees along Lake Bosomtwe to commemorate the day in support of the Asante Kingdom Land Restoration Project (AKLRP).

The AKLRP is an ambitious initiative that seeks to preserve water bodies and forests in the Asante Kingdom as a means of addressing emerging climate change challenges.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the King of the Asante Kingdom as part of his commitment to complement global efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change across the world, launched the project in 2019 with the aim of restoring depleted buffers of water bodies.

The project is implemented by Oheneba Poku Foundation, which is working in partnership with state institutions such as the Water Resources Commission, Forestry Commission, Fisheries Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and District Assemblies.

The tree planting exercise brought together all the key stakeholders including; representatives from the Bosome Freho and Bosomtwe District assemblies, Manhyia Palace, Regional Coordinating Council, fringe communities of the Lake and school children.

Ms. Sullivan said the day was a call to action by all stakeholders to renew their commitments to a healthier and more resilient future for the people around the world and the planet.

She said climate change represented the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and Ghana for that matter, adding that it would affect vital water resources, energy supplies, crop production and food security if urgent measures were not taken to address them.

“Agriculture remains the backbone of Ghana’s economy, supplying over 70 per cent of national food requirements. And since Ghanaian agriculture is predominantly rain-fed, it remains vulnerable to climate change”.

The U.S. Ambassador said Lake Bosomtwe was an excellent example of why addressing climate change was a priority for the Biden Administration and the world and applauded Ghana’s efforts to mainstream climate change policies in its national development strategies and its commitment to developing ambitious nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement.

She commended Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for showing leadership by launching the AKLRP to mobilize the people to protect water bodies and pledge her commitment to support the project.

Nana Adu Mensah Asare, the Amankomhene who represented the Asantehene, highlighted the progress that the project had made in protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment at the Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve.

“We can be proud of the actions we have taken as a nation to protect the environment for ourselves and our children, but there was a lot to be done and I invite you all to join us to take the decisive actions to restore our planet.”, he implored.

He said soil degradation through soil erosion had been the main form of land degradation in the Bosomtwe Biosphere Reserve and many parts of the country, resulting in nutrient loss and thereby, and reducing agricultural productivity.

Destruction of Trees At Pipie

By Press Release

Pipie No. 2 is in the Bosomtwe District and is one of the 22 communities with a common shoreline on Lake Bosomtwe. The community suffers from excessive erosion, low rainfall, low fish harvest as compared to other communities, and siltation of the lake.

After the baseline study, the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme decided to implement a landscape Restoration intervention at the community to improve the ecosystem service provision and arrest the erosion of the lake and reduce the siltation. Reeds (known locally as Nwere) were planted as a riparian buffer strip to serve as an interface between the dry land and the lake. 5,600 seedlings of different species were planted in the buffer and the transition area to provide shade and also help arrest the perennial erosion.

On Sunday the Programme’s Coordinator received news that a developer had cleared portions of the buffer and in the process cleared all the trees, shrubs and reeds we planted at the buffer zone .

A formal complaint was made to the Police at the district command at Kuntenase. The station officer, Inspector Edward Aboagye who received the complaint, detailed Corporal Elizabeth Sabah of the Criminal Investigative
Unit (CID) to investigate the case.

To prevent future occurrence of land sale that includes the protective areas around the lake, a decision was reached to run an orientation programme for Nananom and other stakeholders.

At the Meeting the following ensued:

  1. Nananom were briefed on the action taken so far on the destruction of the trees at Pipie No.2
  2. Nananom were given an orientation on the bye laws and a copy given to each one of them
  3.  Nananom made very educative contribution and unanimously supported the chairman-on his suggestion that we should embark on an extensive educational campaign on the bye laws

And at the end of the deliberation, it was concluded that; He (Baffour Senkyire Amoako-the developer) halts the development of the project with immediate effect, supply 5,980(five thousand, five hundred and 80 seedlings) to be replanted, that 2000 seedlings will be planted at Pipie No.2 where the destruction occurred, a formal agreement is to be signed between the defendant to be witnessed by Nana Kuntenasehene and the District Assembly, amongst others.

Download Full Report from here

Celebration of World Water Day

By Engagements, Press Release

The theme of World Water Day 2021 is “Valuing Water” and has been chosen to highlight the value of water in our daily lives. According to the UN, The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment.

It is a fact that ….  Many of  our  rivers, lakes and streams have their sources from the forests.

As we celebrate World Water Day today, Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll and the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme reiterate it’s efforts to restore our forest and save our water bodies.

Reduced vegetative cover along water bodies, coupled with increased pollution from domestic and  in some cases industrial waste, has resulted in increased sediment and nutrient loading of streams, which, lead to deterioration in water quality of the natural water bodies.

To this end, The Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme’s partnership with the Water Resources Commission, EPA, Forestry commission and others will continue to work on education and the enforcing of buffer zone policy at Lake Bosomtwe, and the Owabi and Barekese Dams respectively. The ongoing forestry and agroforestry programme is on course to also plant 100million trees to restore degraded landscapes and protect our rivers and water bodies by 2029.

We marked this year’s celebration with a visit to Barekese dam which supplies 40 % of drinking water to Kumasi to provide education on proper farming practices around river bodies. There is a need to activate decisive action on people living around our water bodies to engage in healthy farming practices.

Partnership to restore Bosomtwe Landscape

By Press Release

Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll, Asantehene, has reiterated his commitment to provide protection and introduce measures to restore and protect areas around water and river bodies with responsible environmental activities in the Asante Kingdom. He made the announcement during the visit of the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong -Boateng at the Manhyia Palace.

Prof, Kwabena Frimpong- Boateng and his team of technical heads from agencies such as The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The Forestry Commission(FC), FC’s Wildlife Division, FC’ Forest Services Division(FSD)and COCOBOD were at the palace to explore a possible collaboration with the Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme.

The ongoing Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme is promoting the adoption of Asante traditional ecological knowledge, through appropriate socio cultural land management practices like (proka, taboos and by-laws). The programme is also promoting the use of climate-smart agriculture technologies to build resilience of smallholder farmers within the cash and food crops landscapes targeted under the project.

Asante Kingdom’s rural economy is highly dependent on the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors, thus making land resources, including agricultural lands, forests, natural habitats, and water bodies critical for growth. Forestry, and agriculture sectors including cocoa production account for more than 53 percent of land use and employ about 60 percent of the population in the kingdom, including closely to 53% of women. Agroforestry, dominated by cocoa and subsistence farming have been the backbone of the kingdom and for that matter Ghana’s economy for decades. He said, “a vast majority of an estimated 800,000 farmer households in Ghana who are directly dependent on cocoa production for their livelihoods are in the Asante Kingdom. These smallholder farming systems are heavily reliant on the forest and agro forest ecosystem services, including rainfall, pollination, wind breaks, soil fertility, water bodies and socio-cultural resources

The programme began in 2019 with a landscape restoration intervention around Lake Bosomtwe by planting on 4,000 hectares of land with 3 million trees over a five year period. This, Otumfuo hoped, should ultimately help contribute to improved ecosystem service provision, climate change mitigation, and improved environmental consciousness among inhabitants of fringe communities around the Lake. Other stakeholders include the Forestry Commission of Ghana, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Resources Commission, Ghana Tourism Authority, UNESCO, the District Assemblies of Bosome-Freho and Bosomtwe as well as the Lake Bosomtwe Community Resources Management Areas (CREMA)

Ghana’s only natural lake, Lake Bosomtwe, has since 2016 been designated a Biosphere Reserve Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote healthy balance between biodiversity conservation and its sustainable use. The move was a response to the appeal made by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for the protection of the lake.

The Project Coordinator of The Asante Kingdom Landscape Restoration Programme, Mr Fred Kyei Sapong, said “The Asante Kingdom Land Restoration Programme is in line with several global and national policies, plans and strategies that focus on protecting water bodies, wetlands, halting deforestation caused by human activities, ecosystem restoration and economic development’.

The visit by Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng ,the sector Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation confirmed the modest gains made by the project and the need for more work to be done to reverse land degradation in order to unlock the development potential of the areas and speed up the socio-economic development of the area.