The Media Coalition Against Galamsey (MCAG) is imploring Parliament to pass legislation against mining and other mineral exploration activities in forest reserves.
The coalition’s demand follows news about an attempt by a mining company, High Street, to invade the Kakum National Park located in the Central Region for the purpose of mining.
Even though the Minerals Commission in an earlier letter stated emphatically that it granted no permit to that effect and even deleted the said request from its system, the Coalition and Occupy Ghana raised doubt about the sustainability of the decision.
In a joint press statement, the two bodies raised concerns about instances where mining companies have successfully bypassed the Minerals Commission to carry out explorations in forest reserves because they obtained permits from other agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Forestry Commission(FC) and even, a provision that mandates the President to give a written approval ‘to a mining company to undertake mining activity in a globally significant biodiversity area in the national interest.
The groups believe it is that LI that emboldened the High Street Company to seek approval for mining in the Kakum National and therefore wants that provision amended.
Beyond that, Occupy Ghana and the Media Coalition Against Galamsey are pushing for parliamentary approval on the advice of Forestry and Land Commissions, a public hearing and engagement of the chiefs and people of areas where significant reserves are located whenever it becomes prudent to carry out explorations by amending the Forest Act, 1927 (Cap 157) “to take away the power of the President to do this simply by issuing an Executive Instrument.”
The groups are also calling for the revocation of Instrument (EI 144 of 2022), which has purportedly revoked the forest reserve status of the Achimota Forest.
By: Akwasi Addo | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana