Some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country have vehemently kicked against attempt to mine at the Kakum National Park in the Central Region.
According to the CSO’s High Street Ghana Limited has applied for a lease to mine at the Kakum National Park.
The CSO’s allege the application is currently under the validation stage.
The application by High Street Ghana Limited is among 14 applications received by the Minerals Commission from firms to mine in some forest reserves across the country.
Speaking at a Stakeholder Engagement on the new Regulation on Mining in Ghana’s Forest Reserves (LI2462) 2022 on Thursday (9 November) Director of Nature and Development Foundation, Mustapha Seidu warned failure to scrap the LI will lead to wanton destruction of Ghana’s forest.
As we speak, there 14 more applications under different stages of consideration, by the Minerals Commission including an application by High Street Ghana Limited to mine in the Kakum National Park.
“That application is under validation stage and according to the concession map provided, it will cover about 24 percent of the reserve, so in all there about 15 forest reserves that the lincense will cover.”
This LI now needs an immediate attention of all stakeholders, I dare say that we already have enough in our hands with respect to destruction of forests by illegal miners, if in less than one year of coming into force of LI2462, we are seeing this massive legal destruction of our forest, we can imagine what will happen in the next 5 years or decade
Listen to the full speech in the attached audio clip below:
Background of LI
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.
Under the Right to Information Act, concerned civil society organisations have sent requests to relevant public institutions for information on the process that led to L.I.2462, but responses have been either limited or absent. Ghanaians, especially the rural communities, need to know what this L.I. entails and how it may affect them.”
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. was passed, mining permits covering large portions of forest reserves have been granted, including Nkrabia, Boin Tano, Anhwiaso East, and Tano Anwi, the NGO’s alleged.
About Kakum National Park
Kakum National Park is located in the southern central part of Ghana not too far from the coast. The national park encompasses an area of 145 square miles (375 sq km). The park is named after the Kakum River which begins inside the protected. This is Ghana’s most visited natural attraction.
The prominent landscape of the park is tropical forest accounting for 90% of the park landscape. It is one of three places in Africa that features a canopy walk through the trees. It covers a distance of 1,150 feet (350 m) while connecting through seven different trees.
The elevation of the park varies from 443 feet (135 m) to 820 feet (250 m) with moist evergreen making up the majority of the forested area. Although moist forest accounts for the majority of woodlands, there is also swamp forests, riverine forest, and Boval vegetation.
Wildlife includes buffalo, forest elephants, civet, Colobus monkeys, red river hog, giant forest hog, pangolin, dwarf crocodile, and the North Africa crested porcupine. Who knows which you will see as you take the guided treks along the jungle floor or the canopy walkway up in the trees. The tropical rainforest invites exploration and the elevated canopy trail provides a bird’s-eye view and better chance to discover some of the wildlife below.
There are 266 species of birds within the park boundaries. It has the most populous collection of forest elephants within the country. The Diana monkey, giant bongo antelope, yellow-backed duiker, and African elephant are all endangered species protected within the park.
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