The government has begun a stakeholder engagement to find a long-term and sustainable solution to illegal mining also known as ‘galamsey’ through the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small Scale Mining Project.
The project seeks to enhance the capacities of agencies mandated to regulate mining activities in the country to find workable solutions to the menace.
National Coordinator of the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small Scale Mining Project, Dr. John Kingsley Krugu, speaking during a meeting with stakeholders in the Ashanti Region said the project will help sanitize Ghana’s Small Scale Mining sector.
“We already have the institutional framework. It is not as if there are no institutions without the mandate of these issues. What are these institutions spearheaded by the Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency required to do? Is there any capacity strengthening or adaptation of modern technology? ”
“Is there the question of human resources, vehicles, or tools that are needed to be able to address these issues? Under this project, authorities are going to be resourced to go into areas to investigate and produce detailed geological information”, he added.
Although illegal small-scale miners have welcomed the move, they want it done devoid of partisan politics.
Unsustainable and illegal use of lands for mining has gradually destroyed Ghana’s lands, leading to deforestation, loss of biodiversity, accelerated soil erosion and sedimentation, water and air pollution, and degradation of productive agricultural lands, including cocoa farms, among other environmental damage.
To this end, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) with support from the World Bank, launched the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP).
The project seeks to strengthen the integration of the country’s natural resources and its management to increase the benefits to communities in targeted savannah and cocoa forest landscapes.
It will also support sustainable land, water, and forest management initiatives in climate-vulnerable target landscapes and support the formalization of small-scale mining.
The GLRSSMP geographically targets two landscapes: the Northern Savannah Zone (including the Guinea Savannah ecological zone, the Sudan Savannah ecological zone, and the upper portions of the Transitional ecological zone); the cocoa forest landscape (including parts of the Forest ecological zone and the Pra River Basin).
The project will include a multi-sector approach to land management.
The GLRSSMP will capitalize on land-use planning for integrated landscape management to:
- optimize land use
- formalize artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) for sustainable mining
- restore degraded lands
- promote sustainable agricultural practices, and
- strengthen sustainable management of forest landscapes for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services.