Vice-Chancellor (VC), University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Prof Elvis Asare-Bediako has stated that the country’s natural resources had come under a serious attack in the last few years by illegal loggers and illegal miners.
He bemoaned natural resources such as forest reserves and water bodies had not been spared due to illegal mining and illegal logging activities in the country.
Prof. Asare-Bediako expressed the concern when he was speaking at a symposium organised by the School of Sciences of UENR under the theme “The Use of Smart Technologies to Control Illegal Mining and Logging in Ghana” and sponsored by MTN Ghana and Bisvel Communications Limited.
He observed the uncontrolled activities of illegal miners had caused an enormous destruction to the beautiful landscape in the mining areas of Ghana, saying that had resulted to the loss of forest cover and other associated negative environmental impact like air and water pollution.
Prof. Asare-Bediako, therefore, suggested the need for immediate and concerted effort in support of government to curb the trend, stressing “if care is not taken to address the fast spate of forest depletion and land degradation, future generations of the country will rise to blame us”.
According to the VC illegal mining and illegal logging had caused “great damage to the nation in so many ways”, but, he lamented such illegalities were still continuing unabated despite the efforts of government and other stakeholders to find a lasting solution to those social and economic menace.
Prof. Asare-Bediako cited among others that illegal logging had a negative impact on the ecosystem by causing deforestation, biodiversity loss and greenhouse gas emissions.
He added illegal logging had caused disputes and violence between indigenous communities, as well as human rights violations, extortion, sponsorship of armed conflict and increasing poverty in the country.
Prof Asare-Bediako emphasised illegal logging threatened the forest sector’s legitimacy and impeded government’s efforts to adopt the best forest management practices for a lasting ecological sustainability.
Mr. Prince A. L. Zutah, an Information Technology Manager of Bisvel also in a presentation identified and attributed a number of causes such as unemployment, job insecurity, low wages and get-rich-quick mentality by the youth coupled with some Ghanaians desire for materialistic things to the menace of illegal mining and illegal logging.
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