By Alex Boye
The Omanhene of the Sefwi Wiawso Traditional Area in the Western North Region, Katakyie Bumangama II, has assured Prince Charles of England of his readiness in fighting climate change in his region without any hesitation.
The chief gave the assurance when he joined Prince Charles of England and other prominent personalities at the launch of the “Just Rural Transition Program” in London recently.
The program is meant to feed over 7 billion people across the world all year round taking into consideration climate change.
Climate change, the Omanhene noted is serious issue that need to be tackled by a larger group of people.
“I am pleased to say that through the PAF projects with Olam and Touton, we are working to bring into reality the just rural transition. In June this year, we set up a committee of traditional authorities, forest reservation encroachment committee to identify, map and profile illegal farms and settlements and developed a grandfathering and remediation plan to plant trees, reduce expansion and as well as ensure that cocoa companies do not buy from those profiled illegal farms”, he stated.
The Chief said also said to have recently reversed the insecure farm tenure regime such as cocoa in the region, saying that farmers now have 50 years leases to their farm lands.
“I am thrilled to see momentum and commitment from my communities, sub-chiefs who are jointly planning on strategies and agreeing to constitutions for operating in an environmentally sustainable manner” the chief disclosed.
The Omanhene who is seen as one of Ghana’s finest chief noted that massive forest was being lost due to expansion of admitted farms, adding that the forest reserves were constituted and gazzeted.
He also said there were some family settlement with farms in the area, which were hitherto demarcated for protection which were legally accepted as admitted farms.
“Together, we now have an opportunity to drive reform, make real changes to the way land and natural resources are managed, and in the way all stakeholders, farmers, companies, governments and civil society engage in the production of cocoa and food crops” he hinted.
The chief informed that his office has collaborated with several companies including Olam to fight deforestation and improve the lives of the local communities.
Katakyie Bumangama II, called on President Akufo Addo to consider reforms that creates environmental courts to back their efforts in fighting climate change in the region.
Prince Charles in a remark expressed his gratitude to the Sefwi Wiawso Omanhene for his efforts in preserving the remaining forest reserves in his area and pledged his full support for any assistance towards sustaining what is left.
The Prince of Wales further promised to support countries and communities who are determined to fight climate change across the globe.