Urgent action required to reverse impact of land degradation – UNCCD 


By Anthony Adongo Apubeo  

Bolgatanga, Aug 29, GNA – To ensure food security, climate resilience and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, there must be urgent action to reverse the pervasive impacts of land degradation. 

This will ensure that countries achieve the targets of Land Degradation Neutrality to mitigate biodiversity and climate change and improve the quality and productivity of land. 

Mr. Asher Nkegbe, the National Focal Person of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), urged the regional coordinating councils and the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to promote the adoption of sustainable land management technologies. 

“Reducing land degradation and restoring land is critical as the world faces up to the complex challenges of ending hunger, malnutrition and poverty. To varying degrees, land degradation affects 20 to 40 per cent of the world’s land area, deteriorating the welfare of 3.2 billion people,” he said. 

Mr Nkegbe, also the Upper East Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency, made these observations at the third local steering committee meeting of the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project held in Bolgatanga. 

The meeting was to review the progress of work with regard to the implementation of the US$103 million six-year land restoration project, being implemented under the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. 

The project is building on lessons and successes from implementing the Ghana Sustainable Land and Water Management and Forest Investment Projects, among other reforms, taken by the government to strengthen Ghana’s natural resources management. 

They were also to restore degraded forests and landscapes and increase benefits to communities in Northern, Savannah, and cocoa forest zones. 

Mr Nkegbe said under the project, about five million hectares of land had been committed to be restored to contribute to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030. 

 He said apart from sensitising beneficiary communities on environmental issues and sustainable agriculture technologies, the project continued to provide backstopping for farmers to improve food productivity. 

Mr Nkegbe disclosed that the project had also trained community watershed management teams to help protect natural resources from destruction. 

“In terms of riparian restoration activities, all the EPA regional and zonal offices and the department of agriculture of the various districts within the project regions have been actively undertaking riparian restoration activities to protect our water bodies…,” he said. 

“We request of the host-project regions’ RCCs to ensure that the sustainable land management practices within the Medium-Term Development Plans are implemented and their widespread adoption encouraged.”  

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, said activities of mining companies, sand winning and contractors contributed to land degradation, hence the need for stakeholders to work together to address such issues. 

He, therefore, called on the various assemblies, particularly the municipal and district chief executives, to ensure that people who degraded the land were made to restore it. 

“When people win sand and contractors and registered mining companies destroy the environment or the land, they should be made to restore it, then we will have to deal with only the illegal miners so as to make headway”. 



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