The European Union Resilience Against Climate Change (EU-REACH) project has held a technical workshop in Wa to standardize the methodology for Community Land Use Mapping.
The technical workshop seeks to review the Community Land Use Mapping approach adopted by the REACH project, share experiences to shape the Community Land Use Mapping process and identify threats and opportunities in Community Land Use Mapping.
Mr Joseph Nyaaba Akongbangre, Technical Advisor, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing, EU-REACH, said the purpose of Land Use Planning was to select and put into practice land uses that best met the needs of the people while safeguarding resources for the future.
He said for planning to be useful the people involved must be ready to accept changes in land use and there must be the political will and ability to put the plan into effect.
Mr Akongbangre noted that Land Use Planning would ensure communities needs and aspirations were captured in the Community Action Plans (CAPs) for the District Medium Term Development Plans (MTDPs).
He said effective CAPs required Land Use Maps to express properly the spatial distribution of land uses/resources in communities for effective plan implementation.
On climate change, the Technical Advisor noted that communities would be sensitized on afforestation activities to encourage them to earmark land for community forest and woodlots and to also apply to the project for funding.
Mr Rockson Y. Niminga-Beka, the Upper West Regional Director, Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, urged stakeholders responsible for implementing the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, the Local Governance Act, the New Land Act, and the Survey Act to develop their land in a sustained manner to reduce climate change, eschew exclusion and protect livelihoods, now and the future.
He said the community local plan must guide decisions on future development proposals and address the needs and opportunities of the areas.
This, he said, must contribute to the achievement of sustainable development and be consistent with the principles and policies.
Mr Niminga-Beka noted that the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, as a partner, in this regard believed in the collective effort to standardize these procedures.
"We believe in the capacity building of officers in climate resilience planning beyond today and look forward to a stronger bond of partnership," he said.
The Land Use Planning is being piloted in six districts, including Wa West, and Nadowli-Kaleo Districts, and Jirapa, Nandom, and Sissala East Municipalities all in the Upper West Region and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District in the Savannah Region.