The Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Jinapor has indicated that, he will ensure the laws against individuals who engage in illegal mining are applied firmly.
“I agree that you will often have people in your own party and chiefs trying to frustrate the fight, but I want to give a firm assurance that if I get the approval of Parliament, I’m moving in there with all humility and modesty to apply the law without few or favour.”Samuel Jinapor
Speaking during his vetting as he appeared before the Appointments committee, he suggested community mining as a way of solving illegal mining.
“We need to pursue this concept of community mining; I have looked at the literature and taken a lot of briefings, and I think that is the way forward”Samuel Jinapor
He further posited that, President Nana Akufo-Addo remains resolute in his commitment to fight illegal mining, popularly known as ‘Galamsey’ regardless of the challenges he has encountered.
“In every dispensation, when you’re rolling out policies, especially you’re dealing with intricate sectors such as small-scale mining, you’ll have problems. I have taken time to study a lot of literature and noted that all the previous ministers encountered lots of challenges.
“You will often have party people and lots of big wigs fighting against the process. What is important is that the president is absolutely committed to making an impact in this illegal small-scale mining industry.”Samuel Jinapor
Speaking on illegal mining around forest reserves especially in the border power area, he suggested that to solve the issue, government must first have a grip of the reserve in relations to security by the state having control over the reserve since the undefined boundaries has caused disputes between Ghana and C’ote D’Ivoire.
He also suggested the construction of an access road to the reserve and also bring about some form of community mining in that area, whereas those involved in the illegal mining will have a proper form of mining.
Speaking on actions he will take in protecting the shea trees and rose wood trees which has been classified as an endangered species when given the nod by the committee, Mr. Jinapor said, he believes he will be properly advised by the Forestry Commission as what to do and as a result of that advice, a policy can be fashioned out to be able to deal with the situation.
He said although there is a ban in place for the felling of rosewood the government must pay keen attention to enforcement regime since some illegal harvesting and trading is still ongoing regardless off the ban that has been placed.
He further averred that the Forestry Commission will also have to conduct an audit into the stock of the remaining rosewood tree species and also suggested that, there must be a plantation and harvesting relationship of rosewood if the ban on it is ever going to be lifted, which will show that harvesting and planting will be sustainable.
On shea butter he indicated that, the green climate fund in collaboration with the forestry commission, and UNDP have a grant which will be spent for purposes of promoting and the protection of the shea trees.