The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has called on the media to partner government and the Lands Ministry in the creation of awareness on nature crimes in the country and across.
He stressed that the public needs to be informed of the urgency of the situation and the adverse effects of these crimes.
Minister Jinapor, who was speaking at a nature crime workshop organized for journalists by the US Agency for Global Media, on 29th September, 2023 was passionate when he said educating the general public on the importance of natural resources and biodiversity, and the debilitating consequence of these crimes on lives and the planet will certainly make lasting imprints on the minds of the people and bring about behavioural changes.
The Lands Minister magnified the far reaching and diverse effects of these crimes and why the need to eliminate them as soon as practicable.
“Nature crimes are diverse, and cut across various sectors of our economy, including Land, Forestry, Mining, Environment, Fisheries, Maritime, and Waste Management. Crimes such as illegal fishing, illegal mining, illegal logging, illegal overland export, under-declaration of products, mislabelling of products, poaching, wildlife trafficking, illicit wildlife trading, and land degradation, continue to threaten our environment, biodiversity, and the lives and livelihoods of millions of people across the world, while robbing us of the resources needed for development.”
He outlined a gamut of measures goverment through the Ministry has implemented to fight nature crimes in the country, not forgetting to mention, the ban on harvesting of Rosewood in the Forestry sector, operation halt in the mining sector and the introduction of the New Land Act 2020 (Act 1036).
Aside these individual measures, Mr. Jinapor added that under the able leadership of President Akufo-Addo, the Ministry has adopted a comprehensive and coordinated approach to dealing with crimes associated with logging, mining, wildlife and land conversion.
“They include law enforcement measures, policy, legislative, regulatory and operational reforms, stakeholder engagements, as well as the use of technology to prevent, detect, investigate, prosecute, and punish these crimes.”
He was, however, quick to add that, these gamut of measures will not yield the needed results without the collaboration of other stakeholders, including the media, the Fourth Estate in whom he belived that with the power to engage and inform, a lot can be transformed.
To also deal with these crimes, Mr. Jinapor was of the view that, Ghana requires a muti-sectoral and multidimensional approach, as well as the collaboration and cooperation of all, including Governments, the private sector, civil society organisations, academia, research institutions, traditional leaders, and multinational organisations.
The Minister called for an all-inclusive approach to fighting this challenge saying “preventing these crimes is within our reach. But how soon we succeed in this venture, depends on the level of commitment and cooperation of all of us. We can make a difference by spreading the message, and educating our people. Let us roll up our sleeves, and join forces together to save our peoples, our future and our planet”.
Lands Minister Samuel Jinapor commended the Government of the United States, for their leadership in combating nature crimes, which culminated in the launch of the Nature Crime Alliance, last month.
He appreciated the US Agency for Global Media for their continuous education on this crucial subject of global importance, and for the invitation to speak at the closing session of the Workshop.