US Congressional delegation on natural resources calls on lands minister

A high-powered delegation from the United States of America’s Congressional Committee on Natural Resources on Monday, September 12, 2022 paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor (MP) to among others discuss matters of common interest between the two countries.

In his welcome address, the Minister extolled the historical great relationship between Ghana and the United States of America, noting that, through the incredible works of the current US Ambassador to Ghana, the relationship has been further strengthened and elevated to a new impetus.

He outlined the core mandate of the Ministry which is the “efficient management and utilization of the lands, forestry, wildlife and mineral resources of our country”.

Mr Jinapor gave an insight into why framers of the country’s governance structure married both lands and natural resources under one Ministry.

“The framers of our governance architecture were deliberate enough to put lands and natural resources under one Ministry. The idea is the manner in which you exploit and manage your natural resources has an impact on your landscape”.

“This is a Ministry responsible for the Lands and Natural Resources of our country. By that, all the lands in Ghana, forest, wildlife and mineral resources are situated here in this Ministry,” he stated.

Throwing more light on each sub-sector under his outfit, the Minister highlighted the key mandate of the Ministry saying the Ministry’s works covers the three broad sub sectors of Land, Forestry and Mineral Resources.

“The forestry sector is very Important and consequential of our ministry and the country. It has a lot of impact positively and otherwise on the global efforts on halting climate change. Our strategy is anchored on implementing policies which preserve the forest cover of our country. President Akufo-Addo has since 2017, adopted this strategy to preserve our existing forest cover. There are plethora of policy interventions we are implementing as we speak which are intended to preserve the forest cover. The second strategy is to engage in aggressive afforestation and reafforestation. The Green Ghana Day is a project launched last year where in a particular day of the year, the President led the country to plant a certain number of trees.”

In the Mining sector, Mr Jinapor recognized that illegal small-scale mining is a major challenge to the government, nonetheless the Akufo-Addo government has since assumption of office in 2017 embarked on vigorous and aggressive interventions aimed at making the sector more attractive and improve revenue generation.

“We have the large scale mining sector and small scale mining sector. The small-scale mining sector contributes 40% to our gold output. As you know until recently we were the leading gold producer in Africa and sixth in the world,” he said.

Touching on the lands sector, the Minister said the Ministry and the Lands Commission is currently rolling out systems to digitalize all land records to enable the Commission keep proper land transaction and land reform programs.

He also called on the need for the US market to assist and support Ghanaian companies on carbon trading and to among others help benefit and promote the Forest sector of Ghana.

“Our relations are still strong where the rule of law is the norm not exception,” he opined.

For his part, Mr Edward Case, member of the US Congress and on the Natural Resources Committee, who led the delegation on behalf of Congressman Raul Grijalva thanked Ghana for her multilateral cooperation so far and pledged the determination of the US to reinforce their International commitment to protect lives and improve livelihoods.

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia E. Palmer, who was part of the visiting delegation said the team is in Ghana to have a closer look at variety of issues surrounding Ghana’s natural resources.

She also cited Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, Cocoa and Sustainable Farming as some of the issues bookmarked by the Congressional Committee as part of their visit.

She acknowledged Mr Jinapor for his relentless efforts in championing issues in the natural resources of Ghana.


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