On August 1 and 2, 2023, a coalition of environmental NGOs hit the streets, targeting the Parliament of Ghana and the Minerals Resources Commission, to demand the repeal of the newly passed Legislative Instrument (LI) 2462, which puts no restriction on mining in all of Ghana’s forest reserves. The action also raised concerns about the way mining-related permits are leading to the destruction of Ghana’s forest reserves and the pollution of water bodies.
The NGOs are A Rocha Ghana, Eco-Conscious Citizens, Youth Alliance Green Ghana, Ghana Youth Environment Movement, Ghana Environment Advocacy Group, Atronsu Farmers and Youth Anti Community/Small-scale Mining Group, Daby Foundation, SOY Africa, Youth Volunteers for the Environment, and AbibiNsroma Foundation.
Passing of the retrogressive L.I. 2462
In November 2022, a new legal instrument, L.I. 2462, ‘Environmental Protection (Mining in Forest Reserves) Regulations, was quietly passed. Civil society only became aware of this clandestine action by the EPA and government in March 2023.
At a press conference organised on June 9, the Deputy National Coordinator of A Rocha Ghana, Daryl Bosu, read out a press statement on the way the L.I. was passed and its implications for the environment.
“In November 2022, a new legal instrument, L.I. 2462, ‘Environmental Protection (Mining in Forest Reserves) Regulations’ was quietly passed. Civil society only became aware of this by the EPA and government in March 2023.
While the 2018 ‘Environmental Guidelines for Mining in Production Forest Reserves in Ghana’ that preceded the L.I. allowed a maximum of 2% of the production areas of
forest reserves to be mined, the new regulations have no such restriction. Consequently, after the L.I.2462 was passed, mining permits covering large portions of forest reserves, including Nkrabia, Boin Tano, Anhwiaso East, and Tano Anwi have been granted.
Pickets to continue
The NGOs demand that all forests reserves must be fully protected from all mining, both government-licenced and galamsey; otherwise, their integrity will be lost. Further actions are expected to continue at other government agencies in the coming weeks.