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Seminar on Managing Ghana’s Ecological Landscape            

The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences (SNES) and the School of Sustainable Development (SSD) jointly held a seminar to kick-start the 2023/24 academic year on the topic: “Managing Ghana’s Ecological Landscape: The Present Challenges and Required Actions for a Sustainable Future.”

It was a research work by Dr. Ing. Martin Kofi Mensah, a Research Associate at Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (Germany). The presentation highlighted the adverse impact of unsustainable mining on the environment. He also gave a nuanced perspective on understanding galamsey (illegal small-scale gold mining) sites, which are not the same as licensed small-scale mining sites. He guided the audience through the process of learning, unlearning, and relearning.

In his delineation of the concepts of landscape, ecosystem, and ecological services, Dr. Ing. Martin Kofi Mensah, explained that illegal mining in particular should be of concern to the whole country and not only the areas where illegal mining takes place. This is because water and wind can transport materials that are chemically charged with harmful mining chemicals to non-illegal mining areas.

He further explained that if the soil for cultivating food crops is charged with harmful mining chemicals, the crops will equally turn poisonous, which is detrimental to human health in general and to the health of children in particular.

He also added feasible remedies and mechanisms for the reclamation of potentially contaminated lands such as the use of plants and organic amendment applications (like topsoil). The seminar concluded with a lively discussion between the speaker and participants.