Stakeholders trained to protect forest reserves

Stakeholders in the environment, mining and forestry sectors, have received training on new mining regulation that aims to protect the country’s forest reserves from destruction.

The Environmental (Mining in Forest Reserves) Regulation, 2022 Legislative Instrument (L.I 2462), was passed in November, last year, to fill gaps in existing laws on environment.

The stakeholders participated in a day’s workshop,which was organised by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the Forestry Commission, in Accra, on Wednesday.

It was to ensure effective stakeholders’ consultation and participation on issues relating to mining in forest reserves.

The event was also to ensure stakeholders in the sectors were abreast with provisions in the L.I for effective implementation.

The Deputy Chief Executive of Operations at the EPA, Mr Ransford Sakyi, addressing the stakeholders, said the L.I seeks to regulate mining operations in forest reserves.

“Operating or monitoring these activities with a guideline,it became necessary after 23 years of the usage of the guideline to turn this into law because investors when they comethey want to see a law. Some of them think that the guideline is not adequate to regulate,” he said.

Mt Sakyi noted that previously in the guidelines, there were no clear cut directives in terms of mineral exploration, but now the guidelines now give clear guidance for mineral exploration.

Ms Frederica SalaIliasu of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, who was represented by MrSeiduAminu, a State Attorney, said the new L.I consist of 54 provisions.

“The regulations are grouped under the following  headings: preliminary provisions, permitting and licensing requirement, exploration in a forest reserve, mining and processing operations, reclamation and closure, mining in forest reserves committees, administrative and financial provision, local liaison group, ” he explained.

MrAminusaid during the surge in mineral exploration in Ghana, in the 1990s, some mineral prospecting licences, which included portion of forest reserves, were issued.

He said mining companies were permitted to proceed with exploration programmes within the forest reserves, under strict guidance and control in accordance with respective areas.


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