Mr Sulemana Alhassan, Upper West Regional Minister, has said the livelihood of all depended on the productivity of available lands hence the need to take good care of them.

“The health and productivity of lands are critical and we must, as a matter of urgency work tirelessly to restore and improve yield capacities through adoptable, workable and sustainable land management practices”, he said.

He said it is the responsibility of all to protect the environment from further degradation.

Mr Alhassan said this when addressing stakeholders at the 8th National Desertification Forum held in Wa to share ideas on challenges, opportunities and adaptation strategies to help reverse desertification in the region.

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He urged the public to adopt sustainable approaches to land management and its utilisation to help improve land productivity and increase crops yields.

He said through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana Environmental Management project and the Ghana Sustainable Land Management Projects, several hectares of land have been replenished and put under vegetal cover for the benefit of farmers.

Mr John A. Pwamang, Executive Director of EPA, in a statement read on his behalf, said government has considered land degradation as a major developmental issue.

He said the sector ministry needed to intensify efforts at the implementation of all policies, strategies and programmes in collaboration with stakeholders to help reverse the scourge of land degradation on the country.

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Mr Pwamang said “we need to give rural communities the chance to bring that natural capital back to life and into production through the most appropriate and indigenous technologies available to them”.

He said land degradation could be effectively reversed and that “the key tool to this aim lies in strengthening community participation and co-operation  at all levels”.

GNA