Dear Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin 11, As we celebrate our great festival, Ohum, this blog wishes you and all Okyenman's Nananom, Happy Ohum! Nana, Okyenman, yen enma ensei da! May the rest of our new year see a more resilient Okyenman take control of its natural heritage.
Nana, today, thanks to the resolve of President Akufo-Addo, and his able minister for lands and natural resources, Hon. John Peter Amewu, the existential menace that illegal gold mining, illegal logging and hunting represent for our dear Okyenman is now abating somewhat.
Luckily, as it happens, such are the advances being made in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that in the not too distant future, robots and driverless electric heavy equipment will undertake virtually the whole process of mining minerals with precision, without polluting and degrading the natural environment. In light of that, instead of allowing a few selfish and greedy people to continue destroying what God Almighty in his wisdom blessed Okyenman with so generously - in their never ending quest for gold and untold riches - should we not rather follow the example of Thailand, which last year (2016) earned an astonishing U.S.$71 billion from the 31 million visitors it hosted?
Nana, let us resolve to leverage the comparative advantage God gave us, to create an unrivaled ecotourism destination anchored on our forests, streams and and mighty rivers - to create wealth that stays in Okyenman: and jobs galore for many of our young people. Sir, as you know, Okyenman's many friends - such as A Rocha Ghana and the Embassy of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands for example - stand ready to collaborate with Okyenman to create a sustainable green local economy based on ecotourism.
In that regard, Okyenman's Nananom could also collaborate with the Thai Royal Family, to create cooperatives of young people with expertise in the use of vertiver grass to remove heavy metals and toxic chemicals from mined out sites across Ghana - prior to planting trees in agroforestry plantations to regenerate such degraded lands in Okyenman and elsewhere in Ghana, as a green business model.
Finally, Sir, as you are well aware, the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have a collective carbon footprint that is one of the world's largest. Helping the GCC neutralise some of that massive collective carbon footprint, represents a green business opportunity for Okyenman - which could fund the work of the specialist land-restorative agro-forestry cooperatives owned by our younger generations mentioned above.
Nana, towards that end, should Okyenman's Nananom not initiate a conversation with the GCC - with a view to signing low-carbon development deals similar to the one between Norway and Guyana: that enables that South American nation and its fringe-forest communities to benefit financially from preserving its forests? Happy Ohum to you and all Okyenman's Nananom, Sir! Yours in the service of Okyenman and Ghana, Kofi.
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