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CIDA, World Bank vote $17 million to combat desertification in Ghana

2011-06-21 21:11:11
This article has been read 772 times.

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the World Bank have voted $17 million to assist Ghana to combat desertification and drought. Half of the amount which is $8.5 million came from CIDA while the remaining half came from the World Bank.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would be given $2.5 million to carry out its environmental protection activities while another $5.0 million would be pushed into the national fight against desertification project.

Ms Sherry Ayitey, Minister of Environment, Science and Technology made this known at a durbar to mark the 2011 World Desertification Day Celebration held at Wechiau in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region.

The occasion was on the global theme: “Forest Keep Dry lands Working.”

Personnel from the EPA in collaboration with CIDA, Regional Co-ordinating Council and the Wa West District Assembly planting a total of 10,000 seedlings comprising mahogany, moringa, cashew and mango seedlings along the banks of river Volta.

Ms Ayitey noted that forest and dry lands were the focus of the 2011 World Day to Combat Desertification, stressing that the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions Constituted the dry land areas and the most seriously affected desertification prone areas in Ghana.

She said dry land and forest resources have great socio-economic and ecological importance to the survival and well being of the people especially in the three Northern Regions.

She said promoting ways to use forest biodiversity in a sustainable way with clear solid and economic benefits for the poor was the purpose for which the forest must be preserved.

The Science and Environment Minister said forest particularly in the Agriculture and Forestry sectors was responsible for about 40 per cent of the world’s economy.

She said 70 per cent of the world’s poor living in rural areas depended directly on the forest for their survival. In addition, about 350 million people depended on forest for their income while about 1.2 billion people relied on agro-forestry farming systems, according to a 2004 World Bank report.

According to Ms Ayitey human factors such as poverty, population growth, poor economic performance, declining standard of livelihoods of farming communities and close dependence of forest and woodlands hindered the realization of the full potentials and benefits of dry land and forest resources.

She therefore urged the people to plant trees and nursed them to keep dry lands forested for posterity.


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