Deforestation was among leading challenges in Ghana’s natural resource management, a senior official said late Wednesday.

John Peter Amewu, the western African nation’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, said deforestation was causing loss of forest cover in the country at a very high rate.

Addressing an environmental symposium, he said environmental degradation has resulted in severe impact of climate change patterns, including temperature rise, unpredictable rainfall patterns, long periods of drought and low agricultural productivity.

“In spite of the numerous benefits we derive from the forest, Ghana’s timber and non-timber resources are being over-exploited and continue to decline in both quantity and quality,” said the minister.

He said the government will reverse the decline in the natural and environmental resources of the country by addressing the major drivers of deforestation and forest degradation.

“Our traditional authorities who are custodians of the land have a big role to play in complementing the efforts of state institutions in addressing environmental degradation,” said Amewu.

He said some of the measures the government has adopted included promotion of sustainable mining and reclamation of degraded mined-out landscapes and policy review to ensure favorable tree tenure for farmers.

Prof. Peter Acquah, a natural resource expert, said the environmental degradation was also affecting the health status of Ghanaians.

Using examples from America, Europe and other African countries, the expert urged the Ghanaian authorities to reclaim their water bodies that have been massively polluted, including the Odaw River in the capital Accra. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh