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23.08.2004 Regional News

Lets use land wisely- Town and Country planning advised

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Accra, Aug. 23, GNA - Mr Edward Karboo, Director, Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD), has said an integrated and participatory approach was essential to ensure a sustainable urban land use and management.

He, therefore, said that the need for an integrated land use planning and management strategy within an overall urban planning and environmental management framework was an urgent necessity. He was speaking on: "The Contribution of Urban Planning in Environmental Management in Ghana" at a lecture held at the British Council as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The lecture was on the theme: " Land Use Planning- Basis for Sustainable Land Management in Ghana."

Mr Karboo said all land use planning laws was being harmonised to remove various conflicting provisions, fill gaps and unify them into a coherent set of legislation for effective land administration, as part of Land Administration Reforms.

He cited the Town and Country Planning Legislation under CAP 84, which was still in use as "obsolete and out of context with current socio-economic development in the country.

"This legislation will be reviewed and the role of key stakeholders such as chiefs, landowners and community-based organisations, explicitly legislated for," Mr Karboo said He said the Land Administration Project (LAP) currently being implemented had the ultimate objective to "develop a sustainable and well functioning land administration system that is efficient, cost effective and decentralized, and that enhances land tenure security". Mr Karboo said the TCPD as the lead agency for land use planning was working to install a coherent and sustainable land use planning and management system based on participation of local communities, landowners and other public agencies.

The project, he noted, would develop, implement and test decentralised land use planning models in selected priority areas. He said the capacity building for both public and private sector actors such as customary authorities would correspond to the role each was expected to play in the formulation and implementation of the land management strategies.

Professor Isaac Mensah Ofori, who chaired the function, expressed the hope that with the land administration programme in place, litigation about land ownership in the country would become a thing of the past.

He said because land in the past looked so abundant, there were no plans in place its management adding that it was high time stakeholders in land management collaborated to ensure sustainable use. 23 Aug. 04

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