Govt must criminalise mining-related activities in forest reserves – Media Coalition Against Galamsey
The Media Coalition Against Galamsey and OccupyGhana are calling on Ghanaians to compel Parliament to pass legislation that will criminalise all mining and mining-related activities in forest reserves across the country.
The call was made on the back of reports that High Street Mining Company Limited applied for a license to mine in the Kakum National Park in the Central Region.
The Minerals Commission debunked reports last week when they emerged that a company was granted permission to prospect for minerals in the park and clarified that it had rejected an application from High Street Mining Company Limited to mine in the Park.
Minerals Commission in its November 12 response to the reports assured that “no mineral right…shall be considered or granted in the Kakum National Park” but the Coalition and OccupyGhana say the assurance gives them “little or no comfort because mining operations have taken place in Ghana and in our forest reserves behind the Minerals Commission, by persons who claim to have obtained other permits from the Forestry Commission and/or EPA.”
OccupyGhana and the Media Coalition Against Galamsey said what Ghana simply needs is a legislative instrument that will outrightly and plainly criminalise the grant of any mining or drilling permit or lease agreement in all forests across the country and other places of significant interest.
“We believe that Ghana needs a simple legislative fiat that says ‘WE DO NOT MINE OR DRILL IN OUR FOREST RESERVES.’ We therefore invite Parliament, as a matter of urgency, to pass an Act that forbids the grant of any mining or drilling permit, licence or lease or any other associated activities in all forest reserves and significant biodiversity areas.”