The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio has on Wednesday, 5th July, 2023, inaugurated the Steering Committee for the Lands Sector Multi-Stakeholder Platform (LSMSP) as an implementation of the recommendations deduced from the National Lands Conference held in December, last year.
Explaining the purpose of this Platform, Hon. Benito said the Platform will bring together all key stakeholders in the land and natural resource sector, both state and non-state actors, to use participatory and inclusive processes to monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the Conference and to ensure coordination in the planning, management, and use of land and natural resources.
He further stated that the framework of the LSMSP includes A Steering Committee, Technical Working Groups, A Secretariat housed in the Ministry and a Coordinating Team that will be responsible for handling all the technical arrangements and organizational work involved in setting up and operationalizing the LSMSP in Ghana.
Hon. Owusu-Bio outlined four outcomes expected from this Committee saying that “Firstly, we envision a well-informed and capacitated citizenry that can actively participate in land governance and management. Secondly, we aim to improve land tenure systems, ensuring that citizens have secure and predictable access to and use of land.”
“Thirdly, we want to promote effective coordination among key stakeholders to ensure that land and natural resources are managed sustainably and equitably. Finally, we hope to provide feedback to duty bearers to improve land governance, management, and administration in the country” He continued.
To achieve these outcomes, the Deputy Minister disclosed that 32 stakeholder institutions have been identified as members of the LSMSP. These institutions he stated to include State Agencies, Traditional Authorities, Private Sector Actors, Civil Society Organizations, Development Partners, Media, Academia, Professional Bodies, and Community-Based Organizations.
He added that representatives from these institutions will meet periodically to review progress made in the performance of the platform’s tasks, particularly in the implementation of the recommendations of the National Land Conference 2022, the implementation of the Land Act, 2020, other natural resources management laws, and spatial planning laws in the country.
Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio outlined the Committee’s terms of reference, saying “the Steering Committee will among other issues be responsible for the following:
a. Provide policy directions for the LSMSP
b. Provide high level advocacy for the work of the LSMSP
c. Provide a platform for resolving disputes that may arise in the work of the LSMSP
d. Receive and approve annual reports on the activities of the LSMSP
e. Receive and approve reports of the thematic working groups
f. Approve annual work plans and budget of the LSMSP
g. Any other function that will enhance the work of the LSMSP
The Deputy Minister acknowledged the enormousness of the task given to the Steering Committee, but noted that with the calibre of people assembled, he is confident that the work will be done efficiently.
On his part, the Chairman of the Coordinating Committee and Technical Director for Lands at the Ministry, Mr. Maxwell Adu-Nsarfoa thanked the members for accepting to be part of committee while rehashing the huge nature of the task ahead of them and encouraged that they do all in their power to ensure the smooth discharge of their duties.
He appealed to the Steering Committee to provide the Coordinating Committee, with the needed direction to ensure that the implementation of the Communique from the National Lands Conference is done in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.