The government of Ghana has launched a landscape restoration project that is aimed at strengthening the integration of the country’s natural resource management. The $103.4 million project was launched by Ghana’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Dr Kwaku Afriyie after funds for the project was approved by the World Bank in August 2021. When completed, it is expected that the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project will benefit 250,000 farmers, miners and artisanal small-scale miners in targeted savannah and cocoa forest landscapes.
Although the liberalization of Ghana’s mining laws in 1989 legalized small scale mining for the purpose of generating revenue and creating jobs, the multi-headed challenges of deforestation, water and soil pollution, loss of biodiversity among other problems; costing the country an annual loss of 6.3 billion dollars.
According to Dr Afriyie, unless the natural resource extraction techniques and agricultural methods were not modified and landscape restored, the base of the country’s rich natural resources would be destroyed without thoroughly exploring its benefits and rendering sustainable economic growth from the sector.
The financing of the project comprises a $75 million credit by the International Development Association as well as $24 million in grants from the Global Environmental Facility, the Extractive Global Programmatic Support, and the Global Partnership for Sustainable and Resilient Landscapes Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
Mr Pierre Frank Laporte, the World Bank’s Country Director, in an address, added that the project would help develop healthy ecosystems that could play an essential role in mitigation, adaptation, and resilience to climate change, thereby positively affecting the cocoa industry and increasing its impact on the country’s GDP.
“The project will help boost post-COVID-19 economic recovery, create jobs and secure livelihoods in some of the poorest parts of Ghana by focusing on agricultural productivity, ecosystems management and sustainable small-scale mining,” Mr Laporte said.